WorldWide Telescope gone 3D – Equinox Beta available now

Yesterday Kip added a nice bonus liveblog covering the keynote of Rick Rash from Microsoft Research, which announced an update to their space-exploration software WorldWide Telescope. Codenamed the “Autumnal Equinox Beta”, the update now features a 3D-engine that renders our Solar System and the Milky Way in complete 3D. Additionally, according to the team, this update also includes the following new features:

• Tour animation – text and inserted images can expand, contract, move, spin, fade, etc within a slide.
• WWT can now be localized to your language of choice. To begin with, we’ve added a second language – Simplified Chinese.
• Hundreds of new images from the Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer space telescopes
• A new Astrophotography section, with images from renowned astrophotographer Jack Newton.
• New surveys : GALEX in the ultraviolet band, Fermi in the gamma-ray band, as well as sixteen surveys about the Cosmic Microwave Background from the WMAP Science Team’s Five Year release.
• Fifty new panoramas of Mars and the Moon, from the Phoenix, Spirit, Opportunity, Pathfinder, and Apollo missions.

Here’s a view of Saturn using WorldWide Telescope’s 3D solar system:

wwt_saturn_thumb_7b6dc0a9 News  

Soon in the next month the WorldWide Telescope will also allow users to get their own astronomical data and images into WorldWide Telescope format, and to produce WTML files – the XML format that WWT uses, and allowing them to set up their own WWT Communities online.

You can get the latest version over at the WorldWide Telescope website.