Visualization & Analysis Tool

Two ways to get StarGateVR

Become a collaborator or

Purchase from Meta Quest App Lab


StarGateVR is a virtual reality application that lets you and your collaborators meet in a shared virtual space and jointly explore the stars.  The  Gaia Mission has collected precision positional, velocity, and photometric data for over a billion stars. These multi-dimensional Gaia data lend themselves naturally to 3D visualization and exploration via StarGateVR. Use the online Gaia Archive Query Tool to select large samples of stars and to download the resulting multidimensional stellar datasets.  With a quick upload to your Meta Quest headset, you’re ready for untethered immersion into your starfields.

StarGateVR is built on Immersive Science’s underlying 3D proprietary data analysis framework.  This framework lets you select which parameters of a multidimensional dataset you wish to view in 3D, and to quickly switch parameters on any of the three VR spatial axes to further scrutinize data and refine star selection. This accelerates your exploration of the data, leading to new hypothesis generation. 

StarGateVR in Action – Ryan Butler and Joel Kastner (Rochester Institute of Technology) presented initial research results from the application of StarGateVR to the problem of identifying nearby, young stars at the 241st  American Astronomical Society meeting, January 2023.

The StarGateVR User Manual (PDF)

StarGateVR Query Assistant (GPTo)

Two researchers explore dust cloud induced stellar reddening around the M4 globular cluster

There is a tutorial series, created by Ryan Butler, which shows how to use StarGateVR.

(Note – latest version of SGVR has some difference.)

Investigating Nearby Young Moving Groups Through Virtual Reality

Program Number: 402.04
R. Butler, Rochester Institute of Technology; J. Kastner, RIT Center for Imaging Science; T. Skillman, Immersive Science LLC; A. Varga, Rochester Institute of Technology; G. Diaz, RIT Center for Imaging Science; M. Kuchner, NASA/GSFC.


Here is the supporting video of this work:

Additional Example Research Applications

Winner of the “People’s Choice Prize”

at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Graduate Education Week Showcase

April 5th, 2023

An Analysis of the Pictoris Moving Group via Virtual Reality

Ryan Butler, Joel Kastner, Tom Skillman

November 3rd, 2023

Exploring NGC 2287:
Insights from Gaia and TESS

Ben Ramsey, Joel Kastner, Alex Binks, and Tom Skillman

January 2024

A Virtual Reality Based Analyis
of the
Beta Pictoris Moving Group

Ryan Butler, Joel Kastner, Tom Skillman

January 2024

Winner of Chambliss Award

Join the StarGateVR Collaborators

If you’re interested in participating in the testing and feedback phase of StarGateVR, use the form below to apply to become a Collaborator. Please provide your email address and Meta Quest user ID, the one associated with your Quest account, and specify that you’re applying for the “Collaborator” role in the Target Application field.

When submitting your request, please mention your specific needs:

  1. Assistance with initial setup and operation of StarGateVR.
  2. Guidance on creating your custom star dataset query.
  3. Coordination of an in-VR-space tutorial for collaborative exploration.

By indicating your interest in these areas, we can tailor support to ensure you get the most out of your StarGateVR testing experience.  We will then look forward to your feedback on the tool, and the identification of new features.

To become a StarGateVR Collaborator, please fill out this request.

Acknowledgements:  StarGateVRTM  was developed by Immersive Science LLC, and refined through a collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology, enabled by support to RIT from NASA’s Astrophysics Data Analysis Program.