Virtual and Augmented Reality Resources

At science made simple, we have developed a number of Virtual and Augmented Reality resources. These can be used at home or in schools as part of lessons, to learn more about Space and Astronomy. All of these resources are FREE to download and use. Check out the various resources below for more information.

Sam Explores Our Universe – Augmented reality story book
Our Universe AR – Free augmented reality app and resources
Gaia Satellite Apps
Other Virtual Reality apps!

Sam Explores Our Universe – Augmented reality story book and app

Imagine seeing a model of a black hole pop out of the page! You can hold in your hand, spin it around and click on it to learn more about it.

Sam Explores Our Universe is an augmented reality children’s book, following the adventures of hero Sam, as they discover some of the amazing things in our Universe.

Using your phone or tablet, along with the book, you can explore the incredible virtual worlds and objects that are in the book, making them jump out of the page.

Join Sam as they visit a black hole, a comet, a giant star and many more things on their journey.


The book, which is available for free for schools and other educational societies, provides an exciting and educational story for children ages 5-13.

Download the app for android here.

(This is currently only available on Android phones.)

Download the story book here. Then you need to print it out to use with your android app.

Printed copies of the book are available to schools who are visited by science made simple.

Our Universe AR – Free augmented reality app and resources

Models of Saturn and Mars, next to each other, using the Our Universe AR app

Our Universe AR is a free app, available on Android phones and tablets, that allows users to explore virtual models of the planets and Sun in our solar system using the cutting edge technology of augmented reality. Using a set of free printable images, the app will generate a 3D model of a planet on the smart device screen, which appears as if the model is in the real world in front of the user.

Users can click on certain parts of each planet to find out more information about them. The app goes hand in hand with a worksheet, consisting of several questions, which the user can answer by using the app. This encourage users to explore the app in full and to investigate all of the planets.

Our Universe AR

The app is free to download on Android devices by clicking here or by searching for ‘Our Universe AR’ in the Google Play Store. The images to use alongside the app (which are required) are available to download for free here.

This project is funded by the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics.

Gaia Satellite Apps

The Gaia satellite, a European Space Agency mission, will find the positions and distances of over 1 billion stars in our galaxy. By continuously scanning the sky, it will create a map of around 1% of the stars in our galaxy, as well as identifying thousands of supernovae, variable stars and other transient events in space. We have developed three apps which help users understand the Gaia mission and its role at the forefront of astronomy.

Supernova Simulator allows you to design your own supernova, by varying different properties, before watching your creation explode and learn about your custom supernova.

Gaia Quiz puts you through several different quizes in order to test yourself against the Gaia satellite. Can you detect stars quicker than Gaia? Can you correctly distinguish between stars, galaxies and comets? Have a go at Gaia Quiz and find out!

Gaia Alerts VR allows you to explore the positions and properties of the latest alerts from the Gaia satellite in VR, using a VR headset. Gaia alerts include objects such as Supernovae, Cepheid Variable stars and other exotic celestial objects.

All the apps are free to download for Android smart devices. Click on the icons below to visit their pages on the Google Play Store.

Supernova Simulator

Gaia Quiz

Gaia Alerts VR


Other Virtual Reality apps!

We have previously published three virtual reality apps, that work with the Google Cardboard style headsets and are available on Android phones.

Our Solar System VR allows users to explore a virtual model of our solar system. Users can travel to the planets and learn more about them, whilst looking around at the wonders of our solar system.

Our Universe In Light VR allows users to see what the Universe looks like different wavelengths of light. Using images of the night sky, taken in visible, infrared, radio, Xray, microwave and Gamma radiation, users can see what the Universe looks like to different types of telescopes.

Rosetta and Philae VR allows the user to explore the ESA Rosetta mission. Users can explore a giant 3D model of the comet that Rosetta visited, watch the journey of Rosetta through the solar system and explore the Rosetta satellite itself.

All of these apps are free to download from the Google Play Store. Click on the icon of each of the apps below, or search the Google Play Store for them by name.



Our Solar System VR


Our Universe In Light VR


Rosetta and Philae VR








Interested in booking a Virtual Reality workshop for your school?

science made simple has a new workshop, where students use Virtual Reality headsets to learn what it is like to be an astronaut living and working on the International Space Station.

You can find out more about the workshop by clicking here.