Stand on the surface of an alien planet with NASA

In all likelihood, no one from Earth today will set foot on a world orbiting another star, but thanks to NASA, we may have the next-best thing.

NASA‘s lets anyone with an internet connection experience what it might be like to stand on the surface of a planet light-years from Earth and look up into the sky. 

The website is designed to transport you to some popular exoplanet destinations — like Kepler-186f, the newest planet to be given this treatment — to look around the planet in 360 degrees. 

A screenshot of the 360-degree view.

Image: NASA-JPL/Caltech

The images are interactive as well, allowing viewers to learn more about what you might actually see when standing on the planet‘s surface. 

It‘s possible that some of these worlds could harbor water or even life, but that said, scientists don‘t know if any of them do. 

Researchers understand that some of these worlds could be rocky, like Earth, due to their mass and distance from their host star, but they don‘t yet know if these worlds can actually sustain life. 

There‘s a lot of guesswork when it comes to this kind of cutting-edge science. 

“Because  and the majority of Kepler-discovered planets are so distant, it is currently impossible to detect their atmospheres – if they exist at all – or characterize their atmospheric properties,” Martin Still, a NASA exoplanet scientist, said in a .

“Consequently, we have limited knowledge about what these distant worlds are really like, but these surface visualizations allow us to imagine some of the possibilities,” Still, who works on NASA‘s new exoplanet-hunting mission TESS, added in the statement.

Image: NASA/jpl-caltech

That said, this ambiguity could change sometime in the near future. 

NASA‘s James Webb Space Telescope — expected to — could help scientists peer into the atmospheres of alien worlds to figure out if they could support life. In total, scientists know of more than 3,700 confirmed exoplanets out there in the universe.

TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, will also help scientists find more exoplanets circling some of the nearest stars to Earth in the not-too-distant future.

But until then, NASA‘s Exoplanet Travel Bureau has you covered, with its 360-degree images and even special, vintage-inspired that look like ads for the brave new worlds NASA and others have discovered.