The natural world has always served as a great source of inspiration. And we can see some of its most amazing wonders by looking up towards the heavens.
A crystal-blue sky on a sunny day, the stars twinkling at night. Then too, the thoughts of space exploration and our galaxy also ignite our imagination. What’s above us brings both an everyday reality and curiosity of the unknown.
It’s no surprise that some very creative developers have used the sky and space as a subject of experimentation. The potential use of light, color, movement and the latest web technologies are all a natural fit.
Today, we’ll introduce you to some amazing examples that, in one way or another, utilize the sky and space. They run the gamut from scientifically accurate to pure fantasy. Enjoy!
Scroll Down the Sky
The parallax scrolling effect is just about everywhere these days. It’s one of those trends that has taken on a life of its own. However, this is one of the most unique and compelling examples we’ve seen. Scrolling down the page results in a 3D shifting of clouds, while a changing background color makes it seem like you’re falling towards the Earth.
Map to the Stars
One of the true wonders of the universe, the northern lights (aurora borealis) is something not many of us get to see in person. But we can at least try to recreate the experience. Here, a pure CSS version of a glowing green and purple night sky can light up your screen.
The Sun Sets on the Web
A stunning sunset is, on the contrary, something just about everyone can experience. But that doesn’t make it any less stunning. This snippet allows you to put the sunset in motion anytime of day, just by clicking the great yellow sphere. The changing colors make for a attention-grabbing effect.
The City of Lights at Night
Want to know when the full moon will shine on Paris, France? This delightful animation tells you, and gives you a bedroom window view of the Eiffel Tower. The only mystery here is whether the cozy black cat does anything special when the event arrives.
Pure CSS Saturn
Saturn’s rings are a massive source of fascination among us humans. This CSS-only rendering of the planet offers a slightly different take. It’s dark and the rings aren’t quite as prominent as usual. But it provides a beautiful example of how CSS gradients can help us produce some amazing art.
Approaching the Sun
The use of WebGL makes this solar animation otherworldly. As the sun drops down from the top of the screen, notice the blurry effects around its edge. The level of detail here is just incredible. Thankfully, no heat makes it through the screen.
Colors for Every Sky
Rounding out our collection is a snippet that is a bit more utilitarian. It’s a set of beautiful CSS gradients you can use to reproduce several different sky color combinations. You’ll find everything from the dead of night, sunrise, sunset and the perfect blues of midday.
Exploring the Heavens Through Code
As the code snippets above demonstrate, the sky and outer space can add elements of fun and beauty to the web. Whether they recreate our world or aim to show us new ones, they offer a unique way to enhance the user experience.