Where is Rosetta? (2014)

Data visualization project for ESA

It was an honor to work on this interactive 3d visualization, providing information about an unprecedented space mission: “Rosetta” is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.



I also developed the music soundtrack for the visualization:


Where is Rosetta? (2014, João Martinho Moura)

Where is Rosetta? (2014, João Martinho Moura)

Where is Rosetta?

This interactive 3D tool shows where the European Space Agency’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is on any given day – from launch in 2004 to beyond the end of its nominal mission in 2015. You can watch the entire journey play through – click on the play button – or choose dates of interest – by sliding the bar at the bottom of the tool; or click on Where is Rosetta today? to get her current position. The information returned tells you how far Rosetta is from the Sun, Earth and comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/CG for short). All distances are in kilometres (km) and the date is displayed in the format year-month-day. The distance provided is the distance at 12:00 UT on each date, and is the best value available at the time of preparing this tool. By using the mouse or keyboard keys you can pan, zoom and rotate the view. To return to the default settings click on Reset View. Note that the proportions of the planets, comet and Rosetta are not to scale.

About Rosetta

Rosetta is a daring mission to chase, go into orbit, and land on a comet: the Jupiter-family comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta will become the first space mission to rendezvous with a comet, the first to attempt a landing on a comet’s surface, and the first to follow a comet as it swings around the Sun. Since its launch in 2004, Rosetta has made three flybys of Earth and one of Mars to help it on the way to its rendezvous with 67P/CG, encountering asteroids Steins and Lutetia along the way. Together with its lander Philae, Rosetta will help unlock the secrets of comets – icy bodies that represent the most primitive building blocks of the Solar System and likely helped to ‘seed’ Earth with water, perhaps even the ingredients for life.

For more about Rosetta visit www.esa.int/rosetta

Interactive Visualization Credits:

A 3D interactive visualisation artwork developed by Science Office / TECField for the ESA Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration.

Project Coordination: EJR-Quartz BV

Cees Walen (Overall Technical Responsibility)
Karen O’Flaherty (Senior Science Editor)

Technical Coordination: The Science Office

Mariana Barrosa
Luis Calçada
Rui Braz

Software Team: TECField

João Martinho Moura (Lead Developer, TECField / engageLab University of Minho)
Ana Correia (Interface Design)

Background music: João Martinho Moura

Open source javascript libraries:

Three.js (Ricardo Cabello), TrackballControls.js (Eberhard Graether, Mark Lundin)
JQuery (John Resig)


Mercury: James Hastings-Trew (planetpixelemporium)
Venus: James Hastings-Trew (planetpixelemporium)
Earth: NASA Earth Observatory (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Mars: James Hastings-Trew (planetpixelemporium)
Jupiter: James Hastings-Trew (planetpixelemporium)
Background image of the Milkyway: Nick Risinger



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