SXSW 2021

NASA Unleashes Space Data Across the Senses


Data of objects from space have been liberated from the 2D imagery they have long lived inside. NASA experts now deliver these data so that people can listen, feel, and (virtually) move through the cosmos via holograms and other forms of extended reality. These data taken from telescopes in space – often in light invisible to the human eye – can be transformed into many different modes of experience, providing access to some of space’s most interesting and mysterious objects, and making it more inclusive across platforms used for education, entertainment and research. From listening to sounds around the giant black hole at the Milky Way’s center to walking through the debris of an exploded star in VR, our Universe is universally designed and revealed anew.

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Other Resources / Information


  1. Walk among the stars: migrating data into extended reality such as VR and holograms
  2. Listen to the Universe: learn how sonification techniques can translate data into sound
  3. Touch the Sky: how 3D printing and haptic technology can expand the experience



Kim Arcand, Visualization Scientist And Emerging Technology Lead, NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Space, XR
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: An Uncharted Future
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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