The Microsoft Research team responsible for WorldWide Telescope has just pushed out another update (v 188.8.131.52). Code named “Solstice Borealis” the new release includes a couple sweet and mind boggling features.
National Virtual Observatory Cone Search / Registry Lookup – Search through the United States NVO registry to find information about astronomical bodies. You’ll find this under Search then VO Cone Search / Registry Lookup. Once the screen comes up, you can enter anything into the NVO Registry Title Like box then click the NVO Registry Search button. The results will populate the other form fields:
- Base URL – the URL to the document.
- RA – right-ascension in the J2000 coordinate system (decimal degrees).
- Dec – declination in the J2000 coordinate system (decimal degrees.)
- Search Radius – search radius in decimal degrees.
- Verbosity – specifies how many columns are to be returned in the resulting table, with low meaning the bare minimum and high being the full width of the resulting table, which may be hundreds of columns.
Once the results are returned, you simply need to select the item returned from the NVO and click the Search button on the top right. It will navigate you to the appropriate file.
Stereo 3D Views – Just in time for release of the 3D movie Monsters vs. Aliens, WWT supports Anaglyph 3D view, so get your 3D glasses out and try to reach out to touch the image. Stereoscopic view also supports a split screen of normal and anaglyph views or a cross-eyed view. You’ll find this in the “View” menu. Monsters? Aliens? WorldWide Telescope? You do the math.
Image Alignment – Super-easy pivot align feature. Just load any image, align one correspond star, right click on star centroid and dragging any other star allows you to scale and rotate the view to exactly match the background. Map Cruncher for the universe? Use CTRL+E.
Don’t forget, WorldWide Telescope is a free download with an ever-growing community of users uploading images.