Saturday, November 8, 2008

Exploring the Skies with the WorldWide Telescope

WorldWide Telescope The WorldWide Telescope is a virtual telescope that allows you to explore the universe. Already, teachers are incorporating WorldWide Telescope content into their classroom science lessons. The telescope, created with Microsoft’s high-performance Visual Experience Engine, lets you pan and zoom across the night sky. The images of the skies and universe are composites of thousands of images taken from all over the world. Two of the interesting features for first time users are the Guided Tours and the interactive Planet images. Click here to access the home page of WorldWide Telescope.

Guided Tours
The Guided Tours are based on a variety of themes, such as planets, moons, galaxies, and other related topics. Most of the tours are narrated by astronomers, educators, and others in the field. The following screen shot is from the Earth@Night guided tour:

WorldWide Telescope: Earth@Night tour

The next screen shot is a close-up from the Chandra Crab Nebula guided tour, which flies you into the center of this astonishing formation:

WorldWide Telescope: Chandra Crab Nebula tour

The WorldWide Telescope also allows you to explore planets interactively. By using your keyboard and mouse, you can zoom in, rotate, and pan the images of all the planets in our solar system. Here a screen shoot of Venus, which you can explore interactively:

WorldWideTelescope: Venus

For More Information
The system requirements for WorldWide Telescope require a PC running either Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum) or Windows® Vista® (recommended). For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

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