The James Webb footage is even more impressive in virtual reality

The James Webb footage is even more impressive in virtual reality

With Meta Quest 2, you can view the James Webb Space Telescope footage in cinematic virtual reality format and possibly discover new details.


On July 11 and 12, NASA, ESA and CSA presented the first images of the telescope, which is located at a distance of about 932,000 miles from Earth. The images reach deeper and farther back into the history of the universe than any previous images and provide new insights into the formation of galaxies.

Featured are the star-forming region NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula (see cover image), a group of five galaxies called "Stephen's Quintet," and the Southern Ring Nebula, catalogued as NGC 3132, 2,500 light-years away.

James Webb images in virtual reality

Meta packaged the images into a virtual reality movie that shows the high-resolution images at various zoom levels. The widest format fills the Meta Quest 2's field of view. It looks like sitting in the front row of a movie theater and looking at a big screen. This allows you to immerse yourself in the telescope's footage and see new details that would be difficult to see on a smartphone or monitor.

How to watch the recordings with Meta Quest 2

You can find the VR movie on Oculus TV by typing "James Webb" into the search field.



If you're reading this article on a smartphone or computer, click on the appropriate Oculus TV media content and select "Watch Later." The VR movie should then appear in Oculus TV under "Saved".

For the best picture quality, you should download the VR movie. Here's how to do that:

  • Select the three dots in the media content image, then "Cache high quality". You may be prompted to give permissions for caching.
  • If you have done everything correctly, the respective movie will be downloaded in the best quality. This version has a higher resolution than the streamed version.
  • Once the download is complete, select "Your media" in Oculus TV. After the download, the episode should appear under "Cached media".
  • If you want to delete the episode from the device, select the three dots again, then "Delete from Cache" and then "Delete".

Hungry for more? This video isn't the only way to explore space in VR.

Sources: NASA, Oculus TV