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WorldWide Telescope Academic Program

Astronomical Research and Education Outreach Enabled by the WorldWide Telescope

WorldWide Telescope in China

Chenzhou Cui, National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Science, China

Through a partnership between the National Astronomical Observatory of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and Microsoft Research, the Microsoft Research WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is now accessible to Chinese audiences. Dr. Chenzhou Cui of NAOC introduced the first localized version of the WWT virtual observatory during the Microsoft Research Asia Faculty Summit in November 2008.

During his demonstration of the WorldWide Telescope at the Faculty Summit, Dr. Cui highlighted the NAOC data that is incorporated into the WWT as well as the Chinese (Simplified) user interface (UI). Dr. Cui also introduced the Chinese Valentine Tour (WTT file, 6,192 KB), which is based on the Chinese folk story about the stars Vega and Altair—lovers who are separated by the Milky Way galaxy. The WWT demo was well received at the Faculty Summit and Dr. Cui was presented the Best Demo Award by Tony Hey, corporate vice president of Microsoft External Research.

Building upon the localized UI of the WorldWide Telescope, the NAOC team is developing Chinese-enable search for the WWT. In the short term, NAOC plans to generate additional WWT tours to introduce ancient eastern astronomy history to worldwide astronomers. NAOC and Microsoft Research plan to continue to collaborate in astronomical research and education projects.

Seamless Astronomy

Alyssa Goodman, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Initiative in Innovative Computing, United States

In collaberation with Alyssa Goodman, our full objective is to tether together literature and data search and retrieval resources, using semantic technologies and new Web-based data visualization tools. We will link together new and existing tools that will allow astronomers to use the literature as the perfect semantic query tool for the data that underlie it. Many of the tools to be linked were created by our team members, and some are (also) part of International Virtual Observatory efforts. We will take a fundamentally modular approach, which will let users customize the kind of seamless environment they desire.

We believe that modern tools for interlinking software modules (for example, resource-sharing and plug-in approaches) will allow us to create a seamless customizable “mashup” environment for the astronomy community.

WorldWide Telescope Ambassadors Program

Alyssa Goodman, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Initiative in Innovative Computing, United States
Annie Valva, WGBH Interactive

The WWT Ambassadors program launched in January 2010 in partnership with Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and WGBH. The WWT Ambassadors Program is recruiting astronomically-literate volunteers, including retired scientists engineers—all of whom will be trained to be experts in using WWT as a teaching tool. WWT Ambassadors will help to increase science literacy in the general public while forming intergenerational connections within their communities. Learn more...

The WorldWide Telescope as a Novel Research and Publication Platform

George Djorgovski, Center for Advanced Computing Research, California Institute of Technology, United States 

In partnership with George Djorgovski of the California Institute of Technology, the Microsoft Research WorldWide Telescope team is working to provide tangible examples of how a visual display environment like WWT can be used as as a platform for scientific research and publishing, first in the field of astronomy/astrophysics, then extending and transferring the visualization environment to other domains of science and scholarship.

Integrating WWT and Astronomy New Media

Pamela Gay, Southern Illinois University, United States

Collaborating to develop tools that allow easy integration of audio podcasts and the WorldWide Telescope. Develop an interface that will dynamically generate a way for these users to explore in the WorldWide Telescope objects they have studied while doing astronomy-based citizen science projects.

See the Galaxy Zoo—WorldWide Telescope

WorldWide Telescope in Latin America

Professors Guillermo Bosch and Roberto Venero, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina

Microsoft Research, along with Professors Guillermo Bosch and Roberto Venero from Argentina's Universidad Nacional de la Plata, worked for three months to develop and validate the Spanish-language user interface that individuals can now access from
Microsoft Research WorldWide Telescope. In addition, Microsoft released a tool to enable people using the WorldWide Telescope to download the WorldWide Telescope Academic Development Kit on their local computers and localize other languages common to the region. Like the collaboration with the Universidad Nacional de la Plata to support the Spanish user interface, this tool provides the opportunity for Microsoft Research to work with local astronomers toward a future rollout of additional language support.

Conferences and Workshops
  • WWT at IVOA
    Naples, Italy, May 16–19, 2011
  • WWT at Astroviz
    Seattle, WA, June 4–5, 2011
  • WWT at dotAstronomy
    Oxford, UK, April 2–6, 2011
  • WWT at AAS 217
    Seattle, WA, January 9–13, 2011
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