Worldwide Telescope is, as the name suggests, is a virtual telescope that gives you access to the stunning photos that have been taken by Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer. Developed by Microsoft, it is somewhat like Google Sky, but this isn’t just a copycat though, as it has many other features.
Apart from giving you access to all those photos, Worldwide Telescope also provides information about nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, constellations and more. The program has a link to Wikipedia so if you’re curious and want to know more you can just go there to find out.
While Worldwide Telescope has a lot of features and functions, it is very easy to use and it’s a great application for taking a virtual tour of the universe. You can navigate the application and go through 3D spherical environments and take tours of the Solar System, the planets and the sky.
As far as information is concerned, Worldwide Telescope gives you access to literally terabytes of data about the earth, sky and planets. You can also edit the guided tours or create some of your own. Probably the most impressive feature here is the 3D Solar System view, as you can watch the Moon orbit as well as the asteroids. You can even travel backwards or forward 2,000 years, really cool.
Worldwide Telescope works wine with the keyboard and mouse, and it also supports touchscreen devices as well. In addition to exploring the features, you also get special guided tours with narration from educators and astronomers, making it a good research tool.