Microsoft WorldWide Telescope – Microsoft’s free and open-source space telescope project

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Microsoft WorldWide Telescope – Microsoft's free and open-source space telescope project

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope (WWT for short) is a free and open-source virtual, visualized digital planetarium project (including application, data and cloud services) for both web browser (based on HTML5 and WebGL) and Windows desktop. It was originally created by Microsoft Research in 2002, and is now managed by the American Astronomical Society, and supported by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and National Science Foundation.

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope is a virtual and visual system that enables a computer to function as an astronomical telescope. With it, users are able to watch the surface of earth, night sky, galaxies and planets in space on a computer in a variety of ways, and allowed to magnify the geographic data of any specified region. Microsoft WorldWide Telescope has hundreds of different data sources, especially the participation of Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope, and other large astronomical telescopes distributed around the world made it be able to provide more accurate data and images for users. Therefore, when observe some area, the user can choose different telescopes, start from different perspectives, and use different wavelength to carry out the space observation.

Compared with the Google Sky launched by Google, Microsoft WorldWide Telescope appears to be better on performance. That’s mainly because it has an excellent user interface based on the high performance of Visual Experience Engine technology, TB (terabytes) level of data, and seamless operation to zoom around the sky. All in all, as an imaginative, powerful, and unique tool, Microsoft WorldWide Telescope opens a new window for people to use computers around to seamlessly, continuously explore the vast and mysterious out space.

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope – Microsoft's free and open-source space telescope project

// Key Features //

  • 6 main modes
  • Local user content
  • Layer Manager
  • Use for amateur astronomy
  • Guided tours
  • Communities
  • Virtual observatory
  • Full dome planetarium support

// Modes //

  • Earth
  • Planets
  • Sky
  • Panoramas
  • Solar System
  • Sandbox

// Official Demo Video //

// System Requirements //

  • From version 5.0, WorldWide Telescope does not support Windows XP any more

// Related Links //

// Download URLs //

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