May 15, 2008

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope.

The 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.

The massive amounts of data generated by the various scientific and research facilities is currently hundreds of terabytes and will soon be measured in petabytes. Yet sharing this information is problematic for several reasons. By enabling comparison of data from diverse sources--space and ground, and radio, optical, infrared, and other wavelengths--WWT provides a single Internet-based portal to this unprecedented catalog of data to study the evolving universe. By connecting to the same source materials that scientists at NASA and Caltech are using for their research, WWT is a powerful “virtual observatory” for scientists, educators, and the public. Researching the sky as easy as viewing a Web site and is accessible to everyone with an Internet connection.

WWT also contains features to help you explore the Earth, satellites, such as the Moon, and 360 degree panoramas of Yosemite’s Half Dome and other locations.