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Microsoft Research releases WorldWide Telescope 5.0 - explore the cosmos with your PC

WorldWide Telescope

If you are a fan of the cosmos, than you should be well aware of Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope computing program. WorldWide Telescope allows users to fly through the known universe as astronomical sky maps and a 3D modeled environment is rendered. Originally announced at a 2008 TED Conference in California, the application still continues to be listed as “beta”, but has attracted over 1.5 million active users.

Today, as a celebration of the software’s fifth anniversary, WorldWide Telescope version 5.0 is now available to download for anyone dreaming of space exploration. The new release itself is also a new milestone and includes new features and datasets to enhance the user experience.

The underlying rendering system that creates the 3D models have been redesigned to achieve what Microsoft calls a “cinematic experience”. In addition, new controls allow users to control their exact movements and fly through the stars with precision and ease. Lastly, WorldWide Telescope can now import high resolution models to make your experience even better; you won’t be left empty either – the software includes a “high-fidelity” model of the International Space station.

For the official comment from the Microsoft Research team detailing the new features, you can give the quote below a read.

“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.”

For more information on WorldWide Telescope 5.0 and to download it, you can visit the official Microsoft Research site by clicking here.

WorldWide Telescope - ISS

Who has been using WorldWide Telescope to explore the cosmos? Who plans on downloading the application today for the first time and trying it out?

Source: Microsoft

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Reader comments

Microsoft Research releases WorldWide Telescope 5.0 - explore the cosmos with your PC

15 Comments

Amazing app, I love just roaming through space with it. ^_^

Surprised they've not released it as a Modern App though, or at least updated it so the UI doesn't look like it was released with Vista. Ah well, maybe version 6...

Wish they would release a version of this (or some kind of starry-night-esque) on wp8. I know there are other planetarium apps, I use skymap, but I'd still like to see a Microsoft (or Nokia) version.

The store does have a decent app called Star Chart. Not as detailed as Starry Night but it's still a very good app. 99 cents I believe.

Blah not a Win8 app so no love for the Surface RT. :( Really need something like this right now while helping my daughter with her school project on Saturn.

I downloaded an earlier version of this with W7 and couldn't find it after I updated to W8 but this is a very good app. Scrolling and zooming are smoother and more natural than my planetarium software (Redshift Planetarium) and the hd images are first rate. Has the ASCOM plug in for controlling your go-to telescope and it's free! I'm assuming this is a cloud based app as it only takes up about 126mb of disk space. This is pretty good stuff MS. (Did I mention it's free?)