With the ability to accurately depict the elements of our solar system like planetary size and movement, this awesome computer program looks to bring an easy-to-grasp understanding of the heavenly bodies closest to Earth. Feeling like something from Star Trek, the interface depicts the positions and orbits of the planets and their moons as they whip around each other and the sun in their respective orbits. With the ability to toggle between actual and adjusted scales, the user can choose to see the solar system from a user-friendly view, or the more accurate but ginormously Sun-centric view (unfortunately, not pictured in this video demonstration).
Most impressive, it’s all been designed by one person, Chris Albeluhn, working from home over the past year, utilizing the Unreal Development Kit — the hugely popular videogame development platform that has been used for titles like Gears of War, Infinity Blade, and many, many more (wiki page here). A large amount of additional details are available on the video’s youtube page and this reddit post.
All eight planets are included (sorry Pluto! Neil Tyson Degrasse, you win again), with breakdowns of information like composition and temperatures for each. It even includes a visualizer for constellations. There’s some discussion about what additional planetary objects might be incorporated (man-made satellites would be great), and if this will ever be released as an actual product; in the meantime, enjoy the video and make sure to check Chris’ page about this project.
Also, a quick clip about the UDK package used for this: