View Full Version : Electronics Microsoft's World Wide Telescope

07-16-2008, 10:09 PM

You played with it yet? Pretty ****ing cool.

What is WWT? The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a <label title="Web 2.0 is the next generation of the World Wide Web wherein technologies and social practices use metadata or tags to enable communication and resource sharing in a variety of forms (text, audio, video, links, etc.) through the Web without a centralized authority's intervention or approval. Rich visualization software provides a graphical visualization of large structured data sets. The software's interactive graphical user interface provides users with a more data-rich presentation of the data and enables them to explore, filter, analyze, and interact with the data, resulting in a better understanding of that data." class="TourAuthorText">Web 2.0 visualization software </label>environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe.

Choose from a growing number of guided tours of the sky by astronomers and educators from some of the most famous observatories and planetariums in the country. Feel free at any time to pause the tour, explore on your own (with multiple information sources for objects at your fingertips), and rejoin the tour where you left off. Join Harvard Astronomer Alyssa Goodman on a journey showing how dust in the Milky Way Galaxy condenses into stars and planets. Take a tour with University of Chicago Cosmologist Mike Gladders two billion years into the past to see a gravitational lens bending the light from galaxies allowing you to see billions more years into the past.

WorldWide Telescope is created with the Microsoft® high performance Visual Experience Engine™ and allows seamless panning and zooming around the night sky, planets, and image environments. View the sky from multiple wavelengths: See the x-ray view of the sky and zoom into bright radiation clouds, and then crossfade into the visible light view and discover the cloud remnants of a supernova explosion from a thousand years ago. Switch to the Hydrogen Alpha view to see the distribution and illumination of massive primordial hydrogen cloud structures lit up by the high energy radiation coming from nearby stars in the Milky Way. These are just two of many different ways to reveal the hidden structures in the universe with the WorldWide Telescope. Seamlessly pan and zoom from aerial views of the Moon and selected planets, as well as see their precise positions in the sky from any location on Earth and any time in the past or future with the Microsoft Visual Experience Engine.

WWT is a single <label title="Previously to get all the information available in WWT, users would have to use several different programs which would connect to various servers that provide their data in different formats. WWT, as a single Web-based program (also known as a 'rich connected application'), connects to servers for source data and provides that data in interactive, graphically-compelling features." class="TourAuthorText">rich application portal </label>that blends terabytes of images, information, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a seamless, immersive, rich media experience. Kids of all ages will feel empowered to explore and understand the universe with its simple and powerful user interface.

Microsoft Research is dedicating WorldWide Telescope to the memory of Jim Gray and is releasing WWT as a free resource to the astronomy and education communities with the hope that it will inspire and empower people to explore and understand the universe like never before.

How do you start exploring? Click the top of the Guided Tours tab and then click the Welcome thumbnail to watch a guided tour showing you how to navigate in WWT. Or click a link to read more: WWT in Depth (http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/whatIs/whatIsWWT.aspx?wwt=InDepth)