Earth Cycles

Background

"Visual Earth: Milankovitch Cycles" is a 3D interactive visualization in a series for teaching and learning about Earth, for which we collaborated with Prof. Taylor Perron and other geologists from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). Students can use the application to explore how the cycles of Earth's orbital eccentricity and axial precession and tilt affect insolation, seasonal changes, and climate. "Visual Earth: Milankovitch Cycles" was incorporated in the curriculum on climate within EAPS’s signature undergraduate class 12.001 "Introduction to Geology".

Visualizations

We built the interactive modules in Unity (interface snapshot below), using graphic assets we created in Maya (3D models), Illustrator (vector maps, interface elements), and Photoshop (texture maps).
Unity3D development by Brian Deans-Rowe
Artwork and interface design by Betsy Skrip
Produced and directed by Violeta Ivanova

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.

- Maria Montessori