Archive for October, 2018

The Extremes of Our Solar System | Update 21.3

Run Steam to download Update 21.3, or buy Universe Sandbox ² via our website or the Steam Store.

This is a small update that features a new Parker Solar Probe model and new simulations exploring extremes in our Solar System:

Skim past the Sun with the Parker Solar Probe. The probe was launched in August and now has 24 trips around the Sun planned for its 7-year mission. Each year its orbit will take it closer to the Sun as its instruments capture data that will help us better understand our resident star. Its closest approach will bring it within 8.86 solar radii, or 3.83 million miles, of the Sun’s surface, more than 7 times closer than any previous spacecraft.

Home > Open > The Parker Solar Probe
Home > Open > The Parker Solar Probe’s Closest Approach to the Sun
Add > Objects > Parker Solar Probe

And ride along with New Horizons as it continues through the far reaches of our Solar System past Ultima Thule. After the probe’s flyby of Pluto and its moons in 2015, NASA selected the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule as its next target. When New Horizons makes its closest approach on January 1, 2019, Ultima Thule will become the farthest object ever visited by a spacecraft.  

Home > Open > New Horizons Ultima Thule Encounter in 2019


Plus: what if our Sun was replaced with one of the largest known stars in the universe, the red supergiant Betelgeuse?

Home > Open > Solar System with Betelgeuse Instead of the Sun

This update also includes an improvement to the accuracy of positions for moons and other objects in the Solar System Now & Real Time simulation, plus a few other smaller improvements and bug fixes.


Check out a full list of What’s New in Update 21.3

Please report any issues on our forums (local forum | Steam forum) or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

The Universe Sandbox Team Meetup

The Universe Sandbox team pointing at something that was most certainly very interesting. Left to right, back to front: Jonathan Hoy, Christian Herold, Dave Nelson, Alexander Grønneløv, Georg Steinröhder, Erika Nesvold, Mat Solomon, Dan Dixon, Jules Litman-Cleper, Jenn Seiler, Jared Meier, David Rappo. Not pictured: Jacob Williams, VR Developer (see Unity’s story on Jacob for a lovely picture of him), Ryan Macoubrie, Composer

We recently had the privilege and pleasure of uniting [nearly] the whole Universe Sandbox team in person under one roof on the southern coast of Spain for an entire week.

In the seven years since Dan hired two developers to begin work on the latest version of Universe Sandbox, our team has grown to 14 strong. In the past two years alone, we have added six members to our team. So for some of us, this meetup meant seeing familiar faces, but for many, this was the very first time meeting each other in person.

While there are countless benefits to having a remote team spread across the globe, there are drawbacks as well — not the least of which is the limited opportunity to experience each other not just as coworkers, but as fellow humans with families, wide-reaching interests and hobbies, and large catalogues of cheesy jokes. This was a chance for us to have conversations that weren’t at all related to code architecture, simulation performance, pesky bugs, or features on our roadmap. Though of course, we couldn’t help ourselves from having those conversations, too.

And importantly, we set aside time to take a step back from the details and appreciate this massively ambitious and unique project we are all a part of and discuss the future that it holds. Believe us when we say our wishlist for the future of Universe Sandbox is not brief.

We’ve now returned to our homes in Germany, Denmark, Australia, and across the United States in Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Chicago, Birmingham, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, reinvigorated and excited to get back to making Universe Sandbox bigger and better.

We continue to be ever grateful for all of the support we receive from our loving community that makes all of this possible.

Scroll on for proof that we all get along and had a great time hiking, touring historical sites, and of course, eating: