Day & Night
Jump into outer-space to witness the sun bathe one hemisphere of Earth in daylight as the sleeping side twinkles with its own artificial lights of night. Has your child asked what makes day and night? How can it be morning on one side of Earth but evening on another? Show them. Day & Night is an educational virtual reality experience for children using WebVR to explore how sunshine creates our most basic unit of time.
- Day & Night supports the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, and similar virtual reality devices. Be aware that the Vive and Rift do require some mighty powerful desktop hardware to run.
- You will also need a WebVR-capable browser. For the latest list of browsers that support WebVR — as well as download and setup instructions — see WebVR Rocks.
- Bring your senses of curiosity and wonder. VR is still new and exciting — don’t become jaded. (Also, if the earth does not appear in your VR goggles after clicking the “View in VR” button, try clicking it again to disengage, and then again to re-engage. Your pioneer spirit is appreciated!)
The simplest way to fire this up on your own desktop machine is to start a simple Python server. Open up a command line prompt, navigate to wherever you’ve stored this code package, then type the following command depending on the version of Python you have installed.
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8000
py -m http.server 8000
Day & Night is the first edition of the Virtual Reality Learning Series, created by Stewart Smith and brought to you by Moar, a virtual reality consultancy in Brooklyn, New York. For more information read Stewart’s Day & Night post on Medium or direct your questions and comments to @stew_rtsmith on Twitter.
Thanks to NASA and other parties for providing license-free textures of our solar system to the public. Thanks to the authors of Three.js for their fine toolkit and code examples. Finally, thanks to virtual reality hardare and software creators, and the browser keepers who make delivering VR over the Web possible.
Caution, kids! Day & Night is not suitable for celestial navigation. While the heavenly bodies represented are more or less to scale, the radii and nature of their orbits are not.