Explore the universe in your hand!

By Matthew Allen

Can you imagine what it would be like to hold a miniature model of Jupiter in your hand? Well, now you can with our latest free app, Our Universe AR!

The idea of being able to hold a model of Jupiter in my hand, have Saturn on my work desk or throw Mars across the room is what inspired me to develop this idea in to an augmented reality app, which you can run on your phone or tablet, allowing you to explore 3D models of the planets in our solar system by holding them in your hand. And the best thing about the app? It’s completely free!

If you have an Android phone or tablet, you can use the app right now. Just follow these easy steps:

1) Download the app for free right now from the Google Play Store by searching for ‘Our Universe AR Faulkes Telescope’ on your phone or tablet in the Google Play Store, or by clicking the button below.

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2) Download and print the set of 10 augmented reality images, of the planets and Sun, that you’ll need to use with the app. The app recognises these images and will create a 3D model of that planet on top of the image when you point your phone or tablet camera at the image. You can see how this looks in the images in this blog post. You can download the raw images for free, or download a PDF file containing the images, by clicking one of the buttons below. If you can’t print the images, you should be able to view them on your computer screen with the app.

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3) Open the app on your phone or tablet and point the camera at any of the 10 printed images of the Sun or the planets. You can move your phone or the image around to move the 3D model of the planet and you can click on the white dots on the planets to find some information about features of the surface.

A 3D model of the Earth, seen using the Our Universe AR app on our Android tablet

We’re really excited to find out how this app can be used in classroom and at home to show everyone what the planets look like, learn a bit about them and become more excited about space! The use of new exciting technology in classrooms and in education can provide new ways of engaging people of all learning types.

If you use the app, why not tell us what you think? We’d love to hear from you and see photos of you using it and posing with one of the planets!

About the Blogger – Matthew Allen

Matthew is an astrophysicist who has been working at space made simple since 2016. He has a passion for technology, including Virtual and Augmented reality, statistics and astronomy.


sms group shot with props smallWe are science made simple, a social enterprise who perform science, maths and engineering shows to schools, festivals and public audiences.

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Posted in Physics, Space