Explore The Universe With SpaceEngine

Windows: I'm sitting in Las Vegas as I type this, and little makes you want to launch yourself off the face of the Earth faster than running into a group of loud, yelling bros looking for that next sweet bar where they can fill up on Coors Light.

Screenshot: SpaceEngine

Sitting here in my hotel room, hearing people running down the hall yelling their faces off, gave me a moment to think about an app that's perfect for a little celestial zen: SpaceEngine. It's completely free, and gives you a gorgeous way to fly around the universe and look at neat stuff that you'll rarely get a chance to see with the naked eye (or naked eye attached to a huge telescope).

Just look at this:

Screenshot: SpaceEngine

With SpaceEngine, you're just one Matthew Mcconaughey (and a soothing talking robot) away from Interstellar. Flying through the app reminds me a bit of Eve Online, in the sense that it's super-fun to explore space and see what's out there - and you'll feel like a total badarse when you stumble upon something amazing. Well, at least, as badarse as one can feel flying through space on one's computer.

SpaceEngine's description puts it best:

Billions of galaxies, each filled with billions of stars. Each star has its own unique planetary system that can be visited. Volumetric galaxies and nebulae are rendered in real-time. Real scales and distances, from rocks on a planet's surface up to the incredibly huge cosmic voids: you have never imagined how vast the Universe truly is.

Once you download SpaceEngine itself, make sure you grab all the official mods to make your flight just that much more lovely (and realistic). Then turn the lights low in your room, pop this on, and blast off. 


    What I never realized was SpaceEngine also has a very detailed menu where you can alter everything about a planet or star, up to creating your own one! I just wish the dev hadn't killed VR mode for it. If you have a DK2 an earlier version still works.

      The VR mode is currently in works right now. I am in the closed beta and can tell you that the VR mode is absolutely stunning. Work still needs to be done on performance currently as I suffer a lot of reprojection in the VR mode even with a GTX 1080.

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