Educational Tool: Microsoft WorldWide Telescope
Since morning the twitterosphere has been abuzz with news of how wonderful MS Worldwide Telescope is. Jumping in with enthusiasm, the telescope amazed me a lot. to get the virtual telescope, you need to go to the telescope homepage. this is a resource that astronomy enthusiasts are bound to love.
this virtual telescope presents images from various telescopes from around the world and in the space e.g. the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). the experience is very interesting as one can start from any guided tour of a region of the space and then continue to explore on one’s own will. you can not only see the visual interfaces but also X Ray view, hydrogen alpha view etc..
the software minimally needs Win XP SP2 or Vista and .NET 2.0. In addition, the software also needs a live internet connection as it downloads imagery on demand.
to get started you can begin with Guided Tours menu and learn more about using WWT. and when ur done, you can start by watching one of the guided tours of the “Seven Top Galaxies”..
the power of the software is in the fact that it lets you create shows with your narration. this is very useful for teachers who want to educate children on specific astronomical phenomenon.
if you have a telescope that supports computer interface you can control the telescope with this software as well.
enjoy the tour of the universe without a telescope! and wonder if this is Discovery Channel 2.0 :)