Thursday, February 28, 2008

Microsoft's "WorldWide Telescope" gets more exposure

This blogger had the rare opportunity at the CAP 2007 conference in Athens last year to see a Microsoft presentation of a piece of software not yet released: a development version of the WorldWide Telescope was demonstrated during a talk - including a deep crash of the presenter's laptop, something sometimes seen during Microsoft promos ... Still what we saw in Athens was amazing: a very smooth, almost flowing GUI, accessing numerous and very different astronomical databases. It looked a bit like Sky@Google Earth which has come out already, but the final and also completely free product could well become an even more powerful tool for astronomy visualization. Now a newer version has been shown at another conference to rave reviews - and in spring we may well see the first release.

In other news Jim Oberg goes after myths about the USA 193 destruction - which for the DoD is history but not for those responsible for launching another secret NRO satellite, NRO L-28: They have decided to keep their Atlas V grounded for a while until the remaining debris has reentered.

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