Mark Frauenfelder at 11:17 am Thu, Feb 28, 2008
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so this is basically google sky with some photosynth rendering?
Sienna’s Starry Night has been doing this for years, though it’s not free. But it combines Hubble and other image data for it’s real-time sky view, plus TONS of navagation tools — view the night sky from the surface of Betelguise and then zoom in and check out our solar system, etc.
I got a chance to talk to Curtis Wong and play with Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope software earlier this year at the American Astronomical Society meeting. It really blows away the clunky interface Google Earth has right now. It’s also fairly easy to author some guided tours. I think it will be a great tool. I would, however, like to highlight the incredible open source planetarium software Stellarium (http://www.stellarium.org/), which I use for teaching right now. It also has a comprehensive scripting language and allows for additional images to be placed within it.
While this does look very sweet and all, it’s not particularly revolutionary. Consider checking out Stellarium for your local operating system. It’s beautiful, engrossing, well supported, and I give it my seal of approval as an amateur astronomer.
And it’s available now!
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