Microsoft Zooms In With WorldWide Telescope
The universe comes to the desktop as Microsoft placed its WorldWide Telescope application into public beta.
A Holst-like musical score accompanies the arrival of visitors to the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) site. The downloadable application it heralds presents a look at the world, and beyond, as collected from the views of powerful telescopes.
Microsoft touted the seamless experience of viewing the universe as WorldWide Telescope’s top feature. There’s no jarring change from image to image. People may view the universe as seen by any one of the telescopes, with the ability to see various wavelengths of light that reveal different, hidden parts of the heavens:
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.
Beyond the program itself, which requires a fairly modern PC, or a Mac running Bootcamp, Microsoft calls WWT a rich application portal. Instead of requiring multiple programs to tap all the information from various servers, WWT handles all of that in one application.
The views available should be a delight for anyone who’s ever enjoyed imagining flights of fancy throughout the universe.