Microsoft Corp. has launched its answer to Google Sky: a free, web-based program for zooming around the universe from any internet-connected computer. Developed by Microsoft’s research arm, the WorldWide Telescope—which debuted in May—knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and other labs. Computer users can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics. The site lets users choose from a number of different telescopes and switch between different light wavelengths. “The WorldWide Telescope is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, in a statement.

http://www.worldwidetelescope.org

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