Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope celebrates a 5.0 release with a big update

Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope celebrates a 5.0 release with a big update

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment created by Microsoft Research that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe. Celebrating its fifth anniversary, version 5.0 of the WorldWide Telescope has been released offering some new features.

"The entire rendering system has been rewritten with cutting-edge technologies that give users a high-performance, cinematic experience. A new timeline editor provides tour authors with detailed control of camera motion, settings and animation, allowing them to create sophisticated, smooth visual sequences with far less work. What’s more, WWT can now import and display highly detailed 3D models, and it even comes preloaded with several, including a high-fidelity representation of the International Space Station," Microsoft stated in an official blog post.

Microsoft celebrated the fifth anniversary of the WWT, unveiling it at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington DC. As Microsoft touts, the WWT has inspired students and astronomy enthusiasts with its interactive educational content and detailed perspectives of the heavens.

The experience is quite interactive and there is plenty to learn. You can head over to www.worldwidetelescope.org to check out the WWT, version 5.0.