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Worldwide Telescope.org

Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables a user's 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. At its most basic, users are able to pan around outer space--guided by a simple constellation overlay--and zoom as far into any one area as the data will allow.

As they approach individual celestial objects, bands of related content appear below (accompanied by dynamic mapping of the user's view with respect to the known universe). By right-clicking on any object they've zoomed in on, users can get basic information about it (such as its magnitude, its current position in the night sky - based on the user's current location on earth--and when it rises and sets) or delve deeper by clicking on a research button that accompanies each description. Hundreds of thousands (out of the billions of objects that can be viewed) have been so labeled, allowing users to search for specific objects of interest (rather than explore) if they're so inclined.


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Yesterday at the American Astronomical Meeting, we announced the "WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors" program, launching it officially with a new Tour in honor of the 400th...



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