☄️ A visualization tool for near-Earth objects using data from NASA


”Neoviz” is an asteroid / celestial body visualization and tracking tool for both amateur and professional astronomers. It displays details of near-Earth objects and visualizes them in a futuristic way. Details may include trajectories of the objects’ orbits and other scientific data. Users can perform data analysis to predict future trajectories of these objects and also perform various physics / mechanical / biological simulations (i.e. terraforming, space tourism, establishing colonies and mining facilities).

The first iteration of “Neoviz” was called “NEO Dashboard”. It was built in a week-long hackathon in October 2020 and won 1st place. “Neoviz” aims to become the second iteration that expands beyond just a dashboard, and provide more advanced tools that will attract new and existing space enthusiasts.

Proposed Features

Futuristic Dashboard UI:

  • Asteroid Catalog - list asteroids with brief description and details
    • Details can include size indicator, distance from Earth, how hazardous it is, how recently it was discovered, how popular it is, etc.
    • Asteroids can be displayed in list or grid view
      • List view - will allow quick glance at overall data
      • Grid view - nicer to look at, with more details and imagery (perhaps color coded to indicate danger)
  • Asteroid Visualization - provides visualization and more detailed view of asteroids
    • Expands to be displayed when asteroid catalog item is clicked
  • Simulations - conduct experiments and simulations using asteroid data
    • Can be used to predict future collisions or near-Earth flybys
    • Hypothetical alterations of asteroid size, mass, orbits
    • Calculate amount of energy and resources required to capture asteroid in lunar or low-Earth orbit
    • Simulate terraforming or mining operations (cost and energy required to process minerals and bring them back to low-Earth orbit or lunar surface for manufacturing)


Some app ideas that can be built using NASA’s NeoWs API:

  • Asteroid Tracker - allows users to track the orbit of an asteroid in real-time. Users can search for specific asteroids and track their path across the sky
  • Impact Calculator - calculates the potential impact of an asteroid if it were to collide with Earth. This could include estimates of the damage that would be caused by the impact, the size of the crater that would be created, and other related data.
  • Near-Earth Object Explorer - displays 3D models of asteroids that are currently passing near Earth. Users can explore the models and learn more about the asteroids’ size, composition, and other characteristics
  • Asteroid Alert - sends alerts to users when an asteroid is approaching Earth. This could include notifications of the asteroid’s trajectory, its size, and other relevant information.
  • Asteroid Identification - uses machine learning algorithms to identify asteroids in images captured by telescopes. Users could upload their own images or browser through images that have been collected by NASA
  • Impact Risk Map - displays a map of the world and shows areas that are at greatest risk of being impacted by an asteroid. Users could use this app to plan evacuation routes or prepare or other emergency scenarios
  • Asteroid Mining Simulator - allows users to simulate the process of mining asteroids or resources. Users could learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with asteroid mining and explore different strategies for extracting resources


Phase 1 - Proof of Concept

  • Asteroid Catalog Page - /catalog
    • List view with important details, with action buttons such as “Open Details” to view all asteroid details in its own route /catalog/:id
    • Grid view with important details in card style, fancier with size indicators, but can also click cards to view all details
  • Asteroid Catalog Details - /catalog/:id
    • Shows full details of asteroid when selecting asteroid in Asteroid Catalog
      • Contains generic details of asteroid as well as orbital data and close approach data
    • Has actions for users to perform, such as:
      • Share link with others
      • Save to favorites
      • Open in visualizer
      • Perform simulations
      • Predict trajectories
      • Set up notifications for near-Earth flyby events so users can see them (either with naked eye or telescope)
  • Asteroid Visualizer - /visualizations/:id
    • Each id represents a visualization sessions, which can visualize one or more asteroids
    • Visualizer will have a 3D canvas of the solar system with asteroid tracking capabilities
      • Planetary object focus can be Earth, the Moon, Venus or Mars