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Worldwide Telescope

jupiter_and_moon_3d

The free WorldWide Telescope application has been updated – it’s titled the Equinox version. You can download it from its homepage at www.worldwidetelescope.org.

The most spectacular new feature is being able to view the solar system in 3D. Go down to the bottom of the WWT screen and choose Solar System from the Look At dropdown list. Then click on the drop down list under Imagery to choose 3D Solar System View. Hold down your mouse left-button to pan around the sky and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out or press Page Up/Page Down.

As well WWT has expanded the range of imagery available including photography from noted astrophotographers such as Jack Newton.

After you’ve installed WWT, you may want to change the viewing location to a city near you (the default setting is one of Microsoft’s research buildings in Redmond, Seattle, Washington State). Go to View on the main menu at the top of the screen and choose a viewing location that suits from the list of cities around the world. If you know your location’s latitude and longitude, you can manually enter the values. Since you can set your viewing location anywhere in the world, you’re able to view both the northern and hemisphere skies, something not possible with a physical telescope set up a particular location.

You’ll find yourself spending lots of time simply exploring the various collections that are part of WWT (they’re under the Explore option from the main menu). As well, there are plenty of guided tours where all you need do is sit back and enjoy. These tours range from the Apollo missions through to touring galaxies and supernovas.

Finally under Explore, look for the panoramas which include scenes from Mars and the Apollo moon missions. Also WWT integrates with Microsoft Office so, for example, you can copy and paste a WWT image into Word (click the little arrow under View on the main menu to get to the Copy Current View Image).

Live Photo Gallery – black and white photos

DSCF0008 - Copy

You may have already noticed that under the Fix menu in the trial (beta) version of Live Photo Gallery that you convert photos to black and white. Doing so can add impact, drama and attitude to selected photos.

To try this feature, copy and paste one of your photos (remember you need to be in a folder to do this – you can’t copy and paste if you’re viewing photos under one of your descriptive tags). To copy, right-click on the selected photo and choose Copy. In a blank spot in the folder window, right click and Paste – Live Photo Gallery will keep the same name of the photo file but append Copy to it.

Try the yellow filter on landscapes to create a subtle contrast between the sky and clouds and the green foliage. The orange filter will create stronger effects on sky and foliage. For even more contrast, try the red filter which is also very effective for still-life photos.

Live Hotmail update

It seems most people have now received the latest update to Hotmail as it spreads worldwide onto all the Hotmail servers.

For those using a small screen monitor, you should firstly maximise the browser window (use the right-most button at the top right of your browser window). As well you may have to use Options to lay out your reading pane in a different way to what you had previously – you’ll have to experiment to get the best result.

Live Maps – new imagery

The imagery for Melbourne and Geelong has been updated on Live Maps and it’s all bird’s eye imagery. For example, Southern Cross station and the Eureka Tower are worth looking at. In bird’s eye, remember you can rotate around to view the imagery from the north, south, east or west – handy when you want to see your seat at the MCG or Kardinia Park.

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Posted using the Wave 3 version of Windows Live Writer.

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