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  • As a kid, I was fascinated with all things air and space.

  • I would watch Nova on PBS.

  • Our school would show Bill Nye the Science Guy.

  • When I was in elementary school, my next door neighbor,

  • he gave me a book for my birthday.

  • It was an astronomy book,

  • and I poured over that thing for hours on end,

  • and it was a combination of all these things

  • that inspired me to pursue space exploration

  • as my own personal dream, and part of that dream was,

  • I always wanted to just fly around the solar system

  • and visit different planets and visit moons and spacecraft.

  • Well, a number of years later, I graduated from UCLA

  • and I found myself at NASA,

  • working for the jet propulsion laboratory,

  • and there our team was challenged

  • to create a 3D visualization of the solar system,

  • and today I want to show you what we've done so far.

  • Now, the kicker is, everything I'm about to do here

  • you can do at home, because we built this

  • for the public for you guys to use.

  • So what you're looking at right now is the Earth.

  • You can see the United States and California

  • and San Diego, and you can use the mouse

  • or the keyboard to spin things around.

  • Now, this isn't new. Anyone who's used Google Earth

  • has seen this before, but one thing we like to say

  • in our group is, we do the opposite of Google Earth.

  • Google Earth goes from this view down to your backyard.

  • We go from this view out to the stars.

  • So the Earth is cool, but what we really want to show

  • are the spacecraft,

  • so I'm going to bring the interface back up,

  • and now you're looking at a number of satellites

  • orbiting the Earth.

  • These are a number of our science space Earth orbiters.

  • We haven't included military satellites and weather satellites

  • and communication satellites and reconnaissance satellites.

  • If we did, it would be a complete mess,

  • because there's a lot of stuff out there.

  • And the cool thing is, we actually created 3D models

  • for a number of these spacecraft, so if you want to visit

  • any of these, all you need to do is double-click on them.

  • So I'm going to find the International Space Station,

  • double-click, and it will take us all the way down to the ISS.

  • And now you're riding along with the ISS

  • where it is right now.

  • And the other cool thing is, not only can we

  • move the camera around, we can also control time,

  • so I can slide this jog dial here

  • to shuttle time forward, and now

  • we can see what a sunset on the ISS would look like,

  • and they get one every 90 minutes. (Laughter)

  • All right, so what about the rest of it?

  • Well, I can click on this home button over here,

  • and that will take us up to the inner solar system,

  • and now we're looking at the rest of the solar system.

  • You can see, there's Saturn, there's Jupiter,

  • and while we're here, I want to point out something.

  • It's actually pretty busy.

  • Here we have the Mars Science Laboratory

  • on its way to Mars, just launched last weekend.

  • Here we have Juno on its cruise to Jupiter, there.

  • We have Dawn orbiting Vesta,

  • and we have over here New Horizons

  • on a straight shot to Pluto.

  • And I mention this because

  • there's this strange public perception that

  • NASA's dead, that the space shuttles stopped flying

  • and all of the sudden there's no more spacecraft out there.

  • Well, a lot of what NASA does is robotic exploration,

  • and we have a lot of spacecraft out there.

  • Granted, we're not sending humans up at the moment,

  • well at least with our own launch vehicles,

  • but NASA is far from dead,

  • and one of the reasons why we write a program like this

  • is so that people realize that there's so many other things

  • that we're doing.

  • Anyway, while we're here, again,

  • if you want to visit anything,

  • all you need to do is double-click.

  • So I'm just going to double-click on Vesta,

  • and here we have Dawn orbiting Vesta,

  • and this is happening right now.

  • I'm going to double-click on Uranus, and we can see

  • Uranus rotating on its side along with its moons.

  • You can see how it's tilted at about 89 degrees.

  • And just being able to visit different places

  • and go through different times,

  • we have data from 1950 to 2050.

  • Granted, we don't have everything in between,

  • because some of the data is hard to get.

  • Just being able to visit places in different times,

  • you can explore this for hours,

  • literally hours on end,

  • but I want to show you one thing in particular,

  • so I'm going to open up the destination tab,

  • spacecraft outer planet missions, Voyager 1,

  • and I'm going to bring up the Titan flyby.

  • So now we've gone back in time.

  • We're now riding along with Voyager 1.

  • The date here is November 11, 1980.

  • Now, there's a funny thing going on here.

  • It doesn't look like anything's going on.

  • It looks like I've paused the program.

  • It's actually running at real rate right now,

  • one second per second, and in fact,

  • Voyager 1 here is flying by Titan at

  • I think it's 38,000 miles per hour.

  • It only looks like nothing's moving because, well,

  • Saturn here is 700,000 miles away,

  • and Titan here is 4,000 to 5,000 miles away.

  • It's just the vastness of space makes it look like nothing's happening.

  • But to make it more interesting,

  • I'm going to speed up time, and we can watch

  • as Voyager 1 flies by Titan,

  • which is a hazy moon of Saturn.

  • It actually has a very thick atmosphere.

  • And I'm going to recenter the camera on Saturn, here.

  • I'm going to pull out, and I want to show you

  • Voyager 1 as it flies by Saturn.

  • There's a point to be made here.

  • With a 3D visualization like this,

  • we can not only just say Voyager 1 flew by Saturn.

  • There's a whole story to tell here.

  • And even better, because it's an interactive application,

  • you can tell the story for yourself.

  • If you want to pause it, you can pause it.

  • If you want to keep going, if you want to change

  • the camera angle, you can do that,

  • and because of that, I can show you

  • that Voyager 1 doesn't just fly by Saturn.

  • It actually flies underneath Saturn.

  • Now, what happens is, as it flies underneath Saturn,

  • Saturn grabs it gravitationally and flings it up

  • and out of the solar system,

  • so if I just keep letting this go,

  • you can see Voyager 1 fly up like that.

  • And, in fact, I'm going to go back to the solar system.

  • I'm going to go back to today, now,

  • and I want to show you where Voyager 1 is.

  • Right there, above, way above the solar system,

  • way beyond our solar system.

  • And here's the thing. Now you know how it got there.

  • Now you know why, and to me,

  • that's the point of this program.

  • You can manipulate it yourself.

  • You can fly around yourself and you can learn for yourself.

  • You know, the theme today is "The World In Your Grasp."

  • Well, we're trying to give you

  • the solar system in your grasp — (Laughter) —

  • and we hope once it's there,

  • you'll be able to learn for yourself

  • what we've done out there, and what we're about to do.

  • And my personal dream is for kids to take this

  • and explore and see the wonders out there

  • and be inspired, as I was as a kid,

  • to pursue STEM education

  • and to pursue a dream in space exploration.

  • Thank you. (Applause)

As a kid, I was fascinated with all things air and space.

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【TED-Ed】Tour the solar system from home - Jon Nguyen

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    Vivian Lam   に公開 2014 年 11 月 09 日
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