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How to Play WMAP Movies

The basic element of our site is a page describing an individual animation. In most cases, our animations are created at D1 video (720 x 486) or HDTV 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, at 30 frames per second. However, D1 video pixels are not square, but are taller than they are wide, so those animations are meant to be viewed at a 4 to 3 aspect, or about 640 pixels wide by 480 pixels high.

The videos and video stills on this site are available for use when credit is given. See the individual pages for that credit line. If possible please link the image or credit line back to our site, if posting on the web. No NASA endorsement can be implied by the use of these images. See NASA's Reproduction Guidelines for more details.

Preview Animations

Each animation page contains the entire animation in several resolutions and formats.

QuickTime with MPEG-4 encoding- Windows, Macintosh
This is the majority of the versions offered in various resolutions. Modern Browsers can handle most of this, but if you find you are having difficulties, support in the firm of plug-ing is here:
Apple Quicktime software can be found on their site.

Windows Media Player - Windows, Macintosh
Microsoft Windows Media Player software for PC & Mac can be found on their site.

MPEG-4 (.mp4) movie files can be viewed through QuickTime for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
We use MPlayer to play MPEG-4 movie files on Linux computers.

Flash Video - Windows, Macintosh
Adobe Flash software can be found on their site.

Some animation pages also have QuickTime preview versions, which can be viewed with the QuickTime viewer referenced here.


Our animation pages usually display one or more small images in JPEG or PNG format that illustrate the content of the animation. Larger images are provided in PNG, JPG, or TIFF format for print needs.

Warning: There is a generic problem with some TIFF files in that they can get reversed top-to-bottom if the display software is not completely compliant with TIFF specifications. If you want to use a TIFF image from our site, please check that the image is being displayed correctly in your application, by comparing it with the smaller JPEG version of the image on our website.


Frames are uncompressed original render files with no artifacts. These are available (as individual files or other less compressed Quicktime movies that are to large to share on-line) to news media and documentary projects upon request. See the Media Requests page for more details.

  • Webmaster: Britt Griswold
  • NASA Official: Dr. Edward J. Wollack
  • Page Updated: Monday, 09-18-2017