May 29, 2008
SY Tan

Travel The Galaxies With Microsoft WorldWide Telescope

Astronomers, space enthusiasts or star gazers probably have traveled the galaxies to see the constellation or watch the planets’ movement with Google Sky. If the experience doesn’t seem to be convincing with Google’s application, Microsoft would like to welcome you to its recently announced free tool, WorldWide Telescope, for exploring and enhancing the universe experience.

Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope is a fantastic web-based platform which weaves together high resolution images and data from some of the best telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, Spitzer Space Telescope and more. Space enthusiasts can zoom around or explore the cosmos space and universe virtually using the mouse and keyboard. Star-gazers can virtually visit planets, moon, or other celestial objects and they could also trace their positions in the mysterious night sky from the earth.

Unlike Google Sky which is compatible with Windows and Macs, WorldWide Telescope only works with Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista. Comparatively, WorldWide Telescope does a better and more superior job. The images’ quality is better and the program has more interactive features. WorldWide Telescope gives users a feel on the relative size, scale and the vastness from one planet to another, e.g. from Mercury to Jupiter. Users can peer at our own planet using imagery from Microsoft’s Virtual Earth program. Besides browsing and exploring the universe, WorldWide Telescope tool also can record, play and share their universe tour experience with each other.

To take on an excellent interactive space narrated tour, users need to go to WorldWide Telescope to download the application from the web. This program needs a rather high spec computer to run it. It needs at least 2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, minimum 1GB free disk space, graphics card with 128MB RAM or 256 VRAM and last the computer must be Windows OS ready.

WorldWide Telescope is not only an excellent application for star gazer or space enthusiasts to enjoy the star exploration experience, it also inspires the young generation to venture into astronomy and science.

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