Jump on board Ireland's research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer using a new interactive 360 virtual tour, recently launched by the Marine Institute.
The online tour includes 360 panoramas and incorporates videos, photographs, deck plans and pop-up information, to enable viewers to explore the features of the 65.5 metre multi-purpose marine research vessel.
Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said everyone can now come on board and navigate their way through the Celtic Explorer.
"This new virtual tour makes our research vessel much more accessible," Dr Heffernan said. "It provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about our world-class marine research infrastructure and the variety of research that can be carried out at sea."
The Celtic Explorer is designed for fisheries acoustic research, oceanographic, hydrographic and geological investigations as well as buoy/deep water mooring operations and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) surveys.
The vessel can accommodate 35 personnel, including 22 scientists. With a base in Galway, the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean, the Celtic Explorer can facilitate both national and international research and exploration with ease.
Dr Heffernan said the virtual tour is also an accessible resource for teachers of primary school students.
"Being able to explore the Celtic Explorer from the classroom, is one way to increase students' understanding of the marine sector, and their interest in science, engineering and technology," Dr Heffernan said.
The virtual tour of the Celtic Explorer can be accessed from the Marine Institute website.
The position of the Celtic Explorer, and research vessel Celtic Voyager, can currently be tracked using an interactive map on the Marine Institute website. Scientists also provide an update on their research activities while on board the vessels via the blog, Our Scientists at Sea (http://scientistsatsea.blogspot.ie/).
The Celtic Explorer and the Celtic Voyager are both operated by the Marine Institute.
Read Conor Purcell article in New Scientists - Take a 360-degree virtual tour of a scientific research vessel