The latest release of WorldWide Telescope, the Apogee release, has a new version of the sky imagery and, as a bonus, the Mars experience.
If you already have the desktop client version of WWT installed, you’ll be prompted to download and install the new version. This update gives you WWT | Mars as well as the update to WWT.
To download WWT and WWT|Mars for the first time, go to www.worldwidetelescope.org.
The TerraPixel sky image
The team took imagery captured by the Palomar Observatory in California and the UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Springs in New South Wales, massaged these images and created a 1 million pixel by 1 million pixel image (hence terrapixel). This image was cleaned up to form the world’s largest tiled, multi-resolution image.
As a result of this processing, there is now a seamless view of the sky in WWT. In the earlier versions of WWT the imagery of objects was blocky at certain levels of zoom.
The Mars experience
After you’ve installed the latest version of WWT, you’ll also see an icon named WWT|Mars on your desktop or under Microsoft Research in All programs. Clicking WWT|Mars begins the Mars experience.
Microsoft and NASA worked together to bring NASA’s extensive collection of Mars imagery, taken by many Mars observatory craft over the years, but especially the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, to a special version of WorldWide Telescope devoted exclusively to give us a Mars experience.
Microsoft’s part in the WWT Mars Experience project was to take NASA’s 3D image and map it to Mars pole-to-pole and colour correct the imagery to what is generally accepted as the colours that we’d observe if we were on Mars itself.
In the end, WWT | Mars enables us to view the Red Planet in 3D, zoom in to particular features such as Victoria Crater and Mons Olympus and take tours of Mars guided by experts in their field.
Finding your way around WorldWide Telescope
To get started using WWT, have a look through webDotWiz’s article, Journey to the centre of the universe with WorldWide Telescope.
As well, there are some hints on navigating around WWT in the opening screen.
To access WWT’s help system, click the small arrow under the Explore menu item at the top of the screen.
Highlights of The Red Planet in WWT|Mars
The top pane gives you the chance to explore various features on Mars, e.g., Mars’ top ten features:
Once you’ve clicked on this choice, the bottom of WWT’s screen gives you more detailed choices:
As you hover over a choice, WWT will show the feature’s location:
When you click your choice of feature to view, WWT may rotate Mars, zoom out then zoom in to the feature you’ve chosen. At the bottom right of the WWT screen is a progress bar to indicate how much imagery is downloading.
Olympus Mons is the highest mountain in the solar system and you can explore it in detail.
When you choose Olympus Mons from the Mars Top Ten collection, the bottom pane of WWT’s screen gives you a range of what you can view in closer detail:
Here’s one such view:
Having explored Olympus Mons, you can then view Valles Marineris, the lowest crevice in the Solar System.
Remember for help, such as astronomy terms and definitions and how to make use of the tutorials, click the bottom half of the Explore button on the top menu.
Follow webDotWiz on Twitter @webdotwiz
webDotWiz Online www.webdotwiz.com
webDotWiz on Facebook www.facebook.com/webdotwiz
Posted using the trial version of Windows Live Writer 2011.