I plan to build a system that allows anyone to create their own constellations in virtual reality (VR), and easily save and share their creations with other people. Users would be able to select stars from an interactive 3D star map of our Galaxy that consists of the 2,000 brightest stars in the Hipparcos Catalog, and connect any of the stars together to form a unique custom constellation shape from Earth’s perspective. When the constellation is saved and named, users would be able to select and access detailed information on each star. They would also be able to break away from Earth’s fixed viewpoint to explore and experience their constellation forms in 3D space. The constellation would be added to a database of newly created constellations, which could be toggled on and off from a UI panel hovering in space.

The saved constellation data would also be used to generate a visualization of the constellation on the web, which would provide an interactive 3D view of the actual 3D shape of the constellation, with a list of its constituent stars and detailed information of each star. The visualization may potentially include how the constellation shape would have appeared at a certain point in time, and how it has changed over the years (e.g. a timeline spanning Earth’s entire history).

The core concept of the project is to give people the freedom to draw any shape or pattern they desire with existing stars and create a constellation of personal significance. The generated visualization would be a digital artifact people could actively engage with to uncover the complex, hidden dimensions of their own creations and make new discoveries.

A sketch of the concept below:

A rough sketch of the builder and visualization functionalities
Interactive 3D star map I built in VR
Exploring constellation forms in 3D space, and accessing their info