Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

American Astronomical Society Assumes Leadership of WorldWide Telescope
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 20, 2016

Virtually anyone can use WWT to simply browse the universe, exploring everything from planets to nebulas, from supernovas to galaxy clusters, and from constellations to the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope (WWT) astronomy software has a new institutional home: the American Astronomical Society (AAS). This follows a vote by the Society's governing board at the 227th AAS meeting in Kissimmee, Florida, earlier this month.

WWT is a scriptable and interactive "universe information system" for exploring the multiwavelength sky. It allows users to retrieve and share data using an interface that resembles either the sky as seen from Earth or a 3D view of the universe.

WWT can be run in a browser on any computer or mobile device or in Windows as a desktop application. With its powerful capabilities to visualize and contextualize astronomical data and to create guided tours of the cosmos, WWT is useful for astrophysics researchers, science educators, amateur astronomers, and other enthusiasts.

Curtis Wong and Jonathan Fay led the development of WWT at Microsoft Research, which began distributing the Windows version for free in 2008. The program started gaining traction among professional astronomers following the more recent release of the Web-based version. WWT lets researchers easily compare celestial images and data at different wavelengths, spanning the spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays, on the fly in seconds.

It also links journal articles and archived data, enabling users to learn which parts of the sky have been studied when, and why, and by whom, and what they found. "We recently started publishing WWT tour-based abstracts and see WWT as a tool for providing more dynamic and interactive images in our journals," says Julie Steffen, AAS Director of Publishing.

WWT also can be used to bring context to lesson topics in K-12 education as well as university classes. It can be used in a lecture setting to illustrate a wide variety of astronomy topics - from phases of the Moon to deep surveys of the early universe - and in a lab setting to encourage students to explore on their own and ask questions.

Virtually anyone can use WWT to simply browse the universe, exploring everything from planets to nebulas, from supernovas to galaxy clusters, and from constellations to the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Microsoft Research open-sourced WWT in 2015. By assuming responsibility for WWT, the AAS will encourage broad community involvement in the program's further development. The AAS will lead a federation of individuals and organizations who contribute code, data, and services to the larger WWT ecosystem.

GitHub is hosting the WWT code at no cost. Microsoft continues to contribute to the WWT effort by hosting data in its Azure cloud. Most major US observatories are also participating, and a loose governance and review structure will be established, under AAS guidance, in the coming months.

"Taking on leadership of the WWT effort is a bold step by the AAS," says Executive Officer Kevin B.

Marvel. "We're making a commitment to use and adapt new technologies in our stated mission 'to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.' The fact that WWT will be developed and guided by the broader community of astronomers will only increase its capabilities. We at the AAS are excited to provide WWT's new home, and we look forward to watching its evolution."

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Worldwide Telescope
Space Telescope News and Technology at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Machine learning helps discover the most luminous supernova in history
Los Alamos NM (SPX) Jan 15, 2016
Machine-learning technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory played a key role in the discovery of supernova ASASSN-15lh, an exceptionally powerful explosion that was 570 billion times brighter than the Sun and more than twice as luminous as the previous record-holding supernova. This extraordinary event marking the death of a star was identified by the All Sky Automated Survey for Su ... read more

Audi joins Google Lunar XPrize competition

Lunar mission moves a step closer

Momentum builds for creation of 'moon villages'

Chang'e-3 landing site named "Guang Han Gong"

Rover uses Rock Abrasion Tool to grind rocks

Thales Alenia Space to supply reaction control subsystem for ExoMars

Money troubles may delay Europe-Russia Mars mission

Opportunity Welcomes Winter Solstice

NASA's Scott Kelly unveils first flower grown in space: an orange zinnia

NASA completes Orion parachute development tests

How mold on Space Station flowers is helping get us to Mars

Newcomer Sierra Nevada to supply ISS alongside SpaceX, Orbital: NASA

China aims for the Moon with new rockets

Chinese Long March 3B to launch Belintersat-1 telco sat for Belarus

China shoots for first landing on far side of the moon

China Plans More Than 20 Space Launches in 2016

Water in US astronaut's helmet cuts short Briton's 1st spacewalk

Roscosmos prepares to launch first manned Soyuz MS

Japanese astronaut learned Russian to link two nations

NASA, Texas Instruments Launch mISSion imaginaTIon

Building a robust commercial market in low earth orbit

NASA awards ISS cargo transport contracts

SpaceX will try to land its reusable rocket on an ocean dock

SpaceX will attempt ocean landing of rocket Jan 17

Follow A Live Planet Hunt

Lab discovery gives glimpse of conditions found on other planets

Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the 'habitable zone'

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

Recycling light

Polymer puts new medical solutions within reach

All-antiferromagnetic memory could get digital data storage in a spin

It's a 3-D printer, but not as we know it

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement