After a couple months of tears and anticipation Microsoft has made their latest research technology available to everyone now. Scoble was the first to shed a tear and now you can experience that for yourself.
The download is only 20MB in size and the installation is very quick. Once installed just start the program and you are up and running with minimal fuss.
The graphics come from a wide range of systems such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and about 49 others.
I am a bit of an amateur astronomer and enjoy pulling my telescope out for looking at the sky – I can see this program as being a great tool for learning the sky and where everything is for real life telescope viewing sessions. It in fact has an ASCOM interface that will allow you to control a telescope with the right hardware.
From the Microsoft press release:
“The WorldWide Telescope is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “By combining terabytes of incredible imagery and data with easy-to-use software for viewing and moving through all that information, the WorldWide Telescope opens the door to new ways to see and experience the wonders of space. Our hope is that it will inspire young people to explore astronomy and science, and help researchers in their quest to better understand the universe.”