Monday, April 21, 2008

WorldWIde Telescope

I had some friends stop over a few weeks ago and one was quick to make fun of the Wired magazines stacking up in my powder room. I guess they expected Martha Stewart or something, but yes, Wired is one of my favorite magazines. Admittedly, I don't understand SOME of the articles (I haven't fully developed the very technical and gadget aspect of my geekiness) but every now and then I find some very useful information.

My favorite section is "Expired, Tired and Wired." Today, I noticed Google Earth in the "Expired" category, and I did a double take. In it's "wired" place was the WorldWide telescope from Microsoft. I'm a big Google Earth/Google Map fan, so I had to check out what trumps them! I'm about two months behind the big announcement, but I think it's definitely worth pointing out to prepare for the big release.

Basically, it's a virtual telescope that allows exploration of the universe. Take a look at this video that shows the footage from the telescope. Students will be able to explore the constellations, just as though they were driving a space satellite. When clicking on the image, data is displayed for further investigation. Wow! It's due out (free for educators) this spring. It's a good thing I subscribe to Wired (and don't tolerate abuse for it)!!! : )