Thursday, August 8, 2013

WorldWide Telescope - Explore the Universe Online!

My friend, Ken Bushell, who loves astronomy and has increased my interest of it with his enthusiasm, discovered this website which allows you to download a program or use the web version of amazing astronomy views through some of the greatest telescopes on Earth.  Here's his email to me about it:
It is another Microsoft free program that lets you use your computer as if you were looking through a super telescope and you can go anywhere in the sky. There are sets of interesting things such as the solar system planets etc.

I simply clicked the "Web Client" box and it opened to the sky map immediately.  Then I clicked to show "Constellations" and then on the Orion constellation which is easy to spot in the sky and also because I knew there were some interesting nebula there, some just beneath the 3 stars forming the belt.  When I got there and zoomed in, a whole line of pictures of known nebula gallaxies came up along the bottom on which I could click and the program would find them.

It is an amazing piece of work.  There is far more to explore and tours to take.   A lot cheaper and easier to operate than a real telescope.
Here's some information from the website:

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a FREE Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the world’s best ground- and space-based telescopes for the exploration of the universe.

WWT blends terabytes of images, information, and stories from multiple sources into a seamless, immersive, rich media experience delivered over the Internet. Students of all ages will feel empowered to explore and understand the cosmos using WWT’s simple and powerful user interface.  Visit the website now.

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