Galactic destinations can now be toured and explored at the controls of a computer mouse, with the constellations, stars and space dust displayed in vivid detail and animated imagery across the screen, reports The New York Times. The project, the WorldWide Telescope, is the culmination of years of work by researchers at Microsoft, and the Web site and free downloadable software are available starting on Tuesday, at http://www.WorldWideTelescope.org. Educators hope its rich images, animation and design for self-navigation will help entice computer-gaming young people into astronomy and science in general. The space service, astronomers say, could also become valuable in scientific discovery, especially with a professional version being developed with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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