4D2U Project


October 24, 2019 A demonstration of Mitaka VR will be available at the NAOJ Mitaka Open House Day 2019, October 26, 2019. A numbered ticket is required to participate in this demonstration. The VR experience is limited to guests 13 years old and older. Please refer to the following website for the detailed time and place for the distribution of numbered tickets and the start of the VR demonstration. Mitaka Open House Day 2019
June 27, 2018 A Chinese (traditional) manual for Mitaka version 1.4.3a has been released. (Mitaka version 1.4.3a is currently released with only Japanese manual in the Japanese website.)
September 8, 2017 Version 1.4.1a and its VR version Mitaka for VR v1.4.1a were released.
In these versions, several bugs were fixed. (Check out the revision history for details.)
September 1, 2017 Version 1.4.1 with English manual was released.
In this version, nine languages are now available!: English, Japanese (with and without pronunciation guides), Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Thai, and Chinese (simplified and traditional Chinese characters). In addition, 3D models and their orbital data were updated with improvement of their appearances and rendering performance considerably, especially for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. You can observe the “Cassini’s Grand Finale” by selecting the newly added preset menu. The appearances of Saturn’s rings and the Moon are improved by incorporating visualization methods based on physics models for light scattering. At the same time, a virtual reality version (Mitaka for VR) was also released. Enjoy the new version of Mitaka!

March 17, 2015 The 4D2U Dome Theater at NAOJ, Mitaka Campus has been renewed.
As of April 2015, we will resume live shows with the renewed dome theater system. Enjoy Mitaka and movie contents with highly improved images.
Please see here (Japanese page) for details.
December 16, 2014 There have been over 800,000 downloads of Mitaka.

Past news

What is Mitaka?

Mitaka is software for visualizing the known Universe with up-to-date observational data and theoretical models, developed by the Four-Dimensional Digital Universe (4D2U) project of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). Mitaka users can seamlessly navigate through space, from the Earth to the edges of the known Universe.

Mitaka was originally developed for 3D visualizations on multiple screens at the 4D2U theater in NAOJ's Mitaka headquarters. However, it can also be used on a single Windows PC.

4D2U has been supported by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and other collaborating organizations including, Research and Development for Applying Advanced Computational Science and Technology (ACT-JST) ["Establishment and Application of Four-Dimensional Digital Space Data (led by Norio Kaifu, 2001 to 2004)"], as well as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [Effective Promotion Program for Industry-Academia-Government Collaborative Research supported by Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology – "Establishment of Distribution System for Four-Dimensional Digital Video of the Universe (led by Shoken Miyama, 2004 to 2007)"].
Now, Mitaka is being developed by the developer.

System Requirements

Recommended Minimum Hardware Configuration
OSWindows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP (*)
CPUPentium4 1.8 GHz or better
Available RAM512 MB or more
Graphics CardGeForce 3 or better
Display Resolution1024x768 pixels or more
Hard Disk Space300 MB or more

*) To use the software with Windows XP, select mitaka_VC.exe as the executed file.

The above configuration is recommended when not using topographic data. More memory and hard drive space will be required to accommodate the data if you use topographic data.

It is possible to run the program on slower computers by carefully modifying default settings to reduce the texture resolution, for example.

Hardware Configuration at the 4D2U Dome Theater at NAOJ
OSWindows 7 Professional
CPUIntel Xeon E5-1650v2 3.5 GHz
Graphics CardNVIDIA Quadro K5000
Display Resolution1920x1200 pixels

We have not tested other configurations. Please understand that we are not qualified to offer hardware recommendations. Some systems that meet the guidelines above may still have problems running the software.


We provide Mitaka for no charge and without any warranty.
You may use it for your personal enjoyment at your own risk.

This version does not include the topographic data and illustrations for the constellations. The topographic data can be downloaded separately from the links below. The illustrations for the constellations will be released later.


Download the software using the following links.
Please read the "Terms and Conditions of Use" here before using the software.

The Latest Version

* Mitaka Version 1.4.1a (September 8, 2017 Released)
(ZIP File; 134,936,588 Bytes (approx. 128MB) ) (History)
Topographic data can be downloaded separately from the links below.

Older versions can be downloaded from here.

The Latest Version (with Japanese manual only)

Mitaka version 1.5.1 (with high-resolution Milky Way data and without topographic data) (January 24, 2019 Release)
(ZIP File; 1,186,649,599 Bytes (approx. 1.10 GB) )
Topographic data can be downloaded separately from the links below.

Mitaka version 1.5.1 (with topographic data for Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Mercury) (January 24, 2019 Release)
(ZIP File; 591,093,476 Bytes (approx. 563 MB) )
The topographic data for the Moon included in this version is a normal resolution version. If you want to use the high-resolution version, please download it from the links below. High-resolution Milky Way data can be downloaded separately.

Mitaka Version 1.5.1 (without topographic data) (January 24, 2019 Release)
(ZIP File; 221,227,247 Bytes (approx. 210 MB) )
Topographic data and high-resolution Milky Way data can be downloaded separately from the links below.

Manuals in Various Languages

* Chinese (Traditional) Manual for Version 1.4.3a (June 27, 2018 Released)
(PDF File; 11.3MB)

Topographic Data

The topographic data for the Earth, the Moon, and Mars can be downloaded from the following links.

Caution: The file sizes are large.

Depending on the available memory, it may not be possible to use all the topographic data at the same time.

* Topographic Data for the Earth
(ZIP File; 33,385,825 Bytes (approx. 32 MB) )

* Topographic Data for the Moon
(ZIP File; 161,797,846 Bytes (approx. 154 MB) )

* Topographic Data for the Moon (high-resolution version)
(ZIP File; 594,305,291 Bytes (approx. 566 MB) )

* Topographic Data for Mars
(ZIP File; 130,911,334 Bytes (approx. 124 MB) )

How to Use the topographic data:
First, unzip the downloaded file. Then, copy the file "earth_topo.dat", "moon_topo.dat", or "mars_topo.dat", which are generated by unzipping the downloaded file, into the "data" folder in the Mitaka folder. You will be able to view the topography of the Earth, the Moon, or Mars the next time you launch Mitaka.

Mitaka for VR

This version is compatible with a head-mounted display (HMD) for virtual reality (VR). You can experience Mitaka version 1.4.1a in VR.

It supports Oculus Rift (CV1) and HTC Vive. The corresponding Oculus runtime version is 1.16.0 or later, and OpenVR version is 1.0.9 or later. Operation can be done with Oculus Touch or Vive controller (it can also be operated with game controller).

The Mitaka for VR works by adding a software to the regular version of Mitaka. Install the regular version of Mitaka, version 1.4.1a, and make it ready to use. Then, download the zip file for Mitaka for VR and copy the extracted folder with all files into the Mitaka folder. Keep the folder structure when copying the VR folder. For more details on its operation, please see the Readme_VR_E.txt file in the archive.

  • PLEASE DO NOT USE THE VR VERSION FOR CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE. VR experiences for young children may be harmful to their eyes and brains, please refrain from using it.
  • It may not work depending on the environment.
  • Please use it at your own risk of use.
Note) PC for VR demonstration by the 4D2U Project: Intel Core i7-6700K@4.0GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980

* Mitaka for VR Version 1.4.1a (September 8, 2017 Released)
(ZIP File; 3,072,874 Bytes (approx. 2.92 MB) )

Software Development

Tsunehiko Kato (member of the NAOJ 4D2U Group) designed and developed the Mitaka software, including its algorithms for image rendering, data processing, and its Japanese manual. Sorahiko Nukatani (cooperative engineer from RIKEN) worked on the aesthetic design, including title design and color tables.


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