Microsoft brings the universe home

People who live around here pretty much have given up exploring the galaxies with a tiny telescope in the backyard. Clouds and rain doom most efforts.

People who live around here pretty much have given up exploring the galaxies with a tiny telescope in the backyard. Clouds and rain doom most efforts.

Now, thanks to Microsoft, those alien worlds are within our grasp.

Microsoft Research launched a new application earlier this week that allows people to use the World Wide Web to explore deep into space through the world’s best lenses.

The WorldWide Telescope generates images from several orbiting and land-bases telescopes and then the Microsoft application allows the user to download them. The application connects the different images together to form a browsable universe, supplemented with information from top astronomical resources. In addition, there are guided tours that put all of the images and information into context.

The free software is available to download from www.worldwidetelescope.org.

Most nights we feel lucky to get a glimpse of the Big Dipper. Now we can check out the Andromeda or Somobrero Galaxy with just a few clicks on a computer.

Hmmm. Maybe next Microsoft can bring us a picture of the Sun.

In all seriousness, this is ground-breaking stuff. The application has gotten rave reviews from some of the top astrological minds in the country.

The program also will allow our nation’s young curious minds to explore even deeper into world’s beyond our own. It will provide a new educational tool for schools and the community. It will spark more educated dialogue about far-reaching universes and galaxies.

Who knew this is where MD-DOS would lead us.

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