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Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope

John on May 15, 2008 at 9:43 pm

I’ve been eyeballing a telescope since about the beginning of this year. Not that I can even begin to afford it but somehow, one of these days, I’m going to get myself one of these.

In the meantime, Microsoft has come up with a pretty nifty program for viewing the skies called WorldWide Telescope. It’s still in beta but I’ve installed it and it ran smoothly. WWT is sort of like having your own planetarium on you computer, only instead of projecting points of light the entire “sky” is made up of high resolution photographs.

This would have been a great way to learn the constellations back when I was memorizing those. Even now, this is a great way to get a fix on all the Messier objects.

The coolest things about WWT is that it’s designed as a tool for creating and presenting narrated slideshows. Think of it as Power Point for the universe. There are only a few dozen shows up now, but what’s there looks promising for the future. I took a tour of the Sombrero galaxy narrated by a real astrophysicist.

So, this doesn’t change the fact that I still really want a big telescope, but I guess this’ll help keep me occupied until then.

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Category: Science & Tech |

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