Frequently Asked Questions
 
  • What is Microsoft announcing at TED?
  • What did Dr. Roy Gould from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics have to say       about WWT at TED?
  • What is WorldWide Telescope?
  • What are some of the most compelling features of WWT?
  • What is the Microsoft Visual Experience Engine?
  • Who are some of your partners with WWT?
  • When will WorldWide Telescope be available?
  • What will WorldWide Telescope cost?
  • When did Microsoft first starting looking at the sky?
  • Is this an extension of Jim Gray’s work?
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    Q. What is Microsoft announcing at TED?
    A. Microsoft Research is showing a technology preview of WorldWide Telescope (WWT). Dr. Roy Gould, an astrophysicist from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics, will be introducing WWT in partnership with Curtis Wong, principal researcher of Microsoft’s Next Media Research group and head of the project.
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    Q. What did Dr. Roy Gould from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics have to say about WWT at TED?
    A. “The WorldWide Telescope takes the best images from the greatest telescopes on Earth ... and in space ... and assembles them into a seamless, holistic view of the universe. This new resource will change the way we do astronomy ... the way we teach astronomy ... and, most importantly, I think it's going to change the way we see ourselves in the universe,” said Dr. Roy Gould of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics. “The creators of the WorldWide Telescope have now given us a way to have a dialogue with our universe.”
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    Q. What is WorldWide Telescope?
    A. The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground- and space telescopes to enable seamless, guided explorations of the universe. WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft®'s high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.
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    Q. What are some of the most compelling features of WWT?
    A.
     
  • WorldWide Telescope is an observatory on your desktop, allowing you to see the sky in a way you have never seen before; individual exploration, multi-wavelength views, stars and planets within context to each other, zoom in/out, and a capability for anyone to create and share a tour of the universe.
     
  • The Visual Experience Engine delivers seamless panning zooming around the night sky.
     
  • WWT delivers seamless integration of science:-relevant information including multi-wavelength, multiple telescope distributed image and data sets, and one-click contextual access to distributed Web information and data sources.
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    Q. What is the Microsoft Visual Experience Engine?
    A. The Microsoft Visual Experience Engine is the technology that enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky, blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.
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    Q. Who are some of your partners with WWT?
    A. We are working with a variety of partners in the academic, educational, and scientific communities to make WWT a success.
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    Q. When will WorldWide Telescope be available?
    A. Spring 2008.
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    Q. What will WorldWide Telescope cost?
    A. Microsoft Research is dedicating WorldWide Telescope to the memory of Jim Gray and is releasing WWT as a free resource to the astronomy and education communities with the hope that it will inspire and empower people to explore and understand the universe as never before.
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    Q. When did Microsoft first starting looking at the sky?
    A. For 16 years, Microsoft has invested, and will continue to invest, in long-term, broad-based research through Microsoft Research. WorldWide Telescope is built on work that started with Jim Gray’s SkyServer and his contributions to Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
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    Q. Is this an extension of Jim Gray’s work?
    A. Yes.
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