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Microsoft Launches WorldWide Telescope 167

Posted by kdawson
from the godspeed-jim-gray dept.
esocid writes "WorldWide Telescope, developed by Microsoft's research arm, knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and others. Windows users (only) can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics. The application allows viewing from different wavelengths such as X-ray, visible light, and hydrogen-alpha radiation. Business Week has a review and some background on the project, which has been in development for years. Google Sky beat them to the punch but Business Week opines that WWT's interface is superior."
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Microsoft Launches WorldWide Telescope

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @03:35PM (#23394660)
    It claims to be professional astronomer like tool. It is such an over reaching attitude that all involve in the project should be embarrassed. This is a web 2.0 application but it only runs under Windows!!
    MS is a joke and continue to show that not only are they incapable of coming up with something truly innovative, they always somehow manage to make products that look great on paper but are close to useless in real life.Sigh.
  • BBC review (Score:5, Informative)

    by kernowyon (1257174) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @03:46PM (#23394822) Journal
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7397811.stm [bbc.co.uk] which also mentions that you CAN run the Worldwide Telescope on a Mac.... as long as you run Windows on your Mac!
    They quote Bill Gates who said he was hoping the project would -

    "inspire young people to explore astronomy and science"

    Presumably also requiring Windows is a mere co-incidence!
    At least the Beeb article has the decency to mention the Open Source project Stellarium http://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/ [sourceforge.net]
  • Re:BBC review (Score:4, Informative)

    by griffjon (14945) <{GriffJon} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @03:56PM (#23394960) Homepage Journal
    And, don't forget Celestia, which has a great UI and lets you fly around the universe very nicely!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @04:05PM (#23395070)
    There is a problem with the installer. When I run it, the installer starts up the installer for my Dual Core Optimizer, and asks me to remove it.
  • Re:BBC review (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @04:21PM (#23395260)
    While you're mentioning open source alternatives, Stellarium is also not just quite pretty, but apparently good enough to be used in some planetaria. The soon to be release version 0.10 will add some of the features (e.g. tiled high-res downloadable photos as sky textures) that are touted as great innovations of wwt.
  • Re:Web 2.0? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ajs (35943) <ajs@@@ajs...com> on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @04:58PM (#23395812) Homepage Journal

    The description says it's a "Web 2.0 visualization software environment". Shouldn't that be running in a web browser then? What's with having to download and install the application itself? Being on my Mac, I can't (probably wouldn't anyway) try it out to see what happens, but that description seems a bit misleading.
    That's OK. You don't need their app. Since celestia [shatters.net] is free software that runs on Windows, MacOS and Linux. If you're looking for a less powerful, but easier to use tool for just looking at the sky, stellarium [stellarium.org] also runs on all of the above platforms, and is also free software.

    Enjoy!

  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:36PM (#23396976)
    Yes, it's ASCOM compliant so it does allow mount control. As far as "really" as good. My initial impression is yes. I like it better. Easier to use. Tons of information. The interface is pretty smooth. I went after Eta Carinae first thing. Search went easy. I had several different images to flip through on the "zoomed in" detail view. Several options for research. Even the wiki link for that page. And, "drumroll" when I went to the wiki page for it, it respected FF as my default browser and used that for the browser. So far my initial impressions are very high. But I won't know for sure if it'll replace Starry Night for me until I get a viewing session outside with it.
  • Re:but (Score:2, Informative)

    by el cisne (135112) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @08:29PM (#23397902) Journal

    But can it see why kids love cinnamon toast crunch?

    Not on Linux.

    DT

    That ain't all it's not on. Looks like XP2, Vista only. Way to spread the tech love, MS. Why did I bother to even click.
  • Re:Web 2.0? (Score:3, Informative)

    by alonsoac (180192) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @10:31PM (#23398588) Homepage Journal
    I would expect a Web 2.0 application to run in the browser. Any browser. For instace the Firefox on Linux I am using. If WWT does not run here then it is just a Windows application.

    some quotes from the Wikipedia entry on web 2.0:

    "In the opening talk of the first Web 2.0 conference, O'Reilly and John Battelle summarized what they saw as the themes of Web 2.0. They argued that the web had become a platform, with software above the level of a single device"

    "According to Best the characteristics of Web 2.0 are: rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability. Three further characteristics that Best did not mention about web 2.0: openness, freedom and collective intelligence by way of user participation - all should be viewed as essential attributes of Web 2.0."

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