Travel from our home planet out into the cosmos with the Hubble Telescope, venturing into the heart of the Orion Nebula where a star is being born. This is Fistful of Stars, a short virtual reality (VR) film directed by Eliza McNitt for Viceland and Samsung’s Samsung Gear VR. The piece was originally part of a live performance and VR experience where the entire audience put on cardboard goggles.

For “Fistful of Stars,” McNitt worked closely with astrophysicist Mario Livio, a prolific author who devoted more than 25 years to overseeing many of the Hubble Telescope’s discoveries. Livio also narrates “The Hubble Cantata,” and he helped McNitt hew true to the scientific realities of her interstellar journey.

Using real footage from the telescope, McNitt crafted a film that took scientific theories grounded in hard data and interpreted them through an artistic lens, making sure to consider crucial points of interest including the color of a star when it is born and what solar flares look like when they’re circling off the body of a star.

“I wanted to make people feel like they were seeing through the lens of the Hubble Telescope, and peering back in time billions of years ago to see what Hubble sees thousands of light years away,” she said.

Next: The Hubble Space Telescope Reflects the Cosmos and how small are we in the scale of the universe?

Plus: The Rosetta Mission Asks, “How Did Our Solar System Form?”

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