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WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest

With the WorldWide Telescope, you have 3-D navigation to explore the universe. Not only can you visit, but you can create an interactive and educational tour of your journey. You can then enter your tour in the contest, and if it’s selected, it will be featured in WorldWide Telescope!

Contest Details

Learn more about the Tour Contest by reading the following details.

Contest Overview

  1. Form a team of one to four people each of whom is over the age of 14.
  2. Go to the WorldWide Telescope website and download WorldWide Telescope, which is a free download.
  3. Choose a theme from the list of themes, included below.
  4. Research the topic.
  5. Produce a guided tour that fulfills the requirements (see the WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest Official Rules).
  6. If your tour is selected to be featured in WorldWide Telescope, we will notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address provided at time of entry.

Submission Instructions

  • Send us your tour so that we receive it on or before September 1, 2011.
  • Your tour must be in .wtt format and smaller than 6 MB.
  • Your submission email must include the following information:

      • Name of entrant or entrants:
      • Tour category:
      • Themes or elements addressed:
      • Description of tour:

Read our privacy statement.

Contest Details

Contest Prizes 
Each winner will have their entry featured in Worldwide Telescope under “Guided Tours” in a folder designated for Worldwide Telescope Tour Contest Winners for a month. Additionally, entries will be featured on the front page of WorldWide Telescope Website, WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest, and a few may be chosen to be featured on WorldWide Telescope Ambassador's Program Website.


Here are the themes for the WorldWide Telescope tour contest:

Category 1: Kids (14 to 18 years old)

  • Choose any topic in astronomy that interests you.
  • Create a tour for your friends and peers.

Category 2: Debunking Astronomy Urban Legends

  • Help promote science literacy.
  • Create a tour that demonstrates why some commonly held ideas about astronomy are untrue. For example:
    • Summer is warmer because the earth is closer to the sun

    • Stars actually have spokes or points

    • Pluto’s not a planet because it’s too small

    • Galaxies are too far away to interact with each other

    • The solar system was created by the Bing Bang

    • Red stars are the hottest and blue stars are coolest

    • If the sun turned into a black hole, it would swallow the earth

    • All stars are the same size as the sun

    • Galaxies and stars are as far away as planets

    • The brightness of a star only depends upon the distance from Earth

Category 3: Solar System—Ours and Beyond

  • Sun
  • Planet
  • Moon
  • Kuiper Belt
  • Asteroid
  • Comet
  • Dwarf Planet
  • Extrasolar Planet

Category 4: Within the Milky Way and Beyond

  • Dust
  • Gas
  • Stellar Wind
  • Molecular Cloud
  • Black Holes, Neutron Stars
  • Stellar Evolution
  • Nebula
  • Galaxies

Category 5: Cosmology

  • Big Bang
  • Cosmic Microwave Background
  • Large Scale Structure
  • Cosmological Constant
  • Expansion


Here are answers to frequently asked questions.

Is Worldwide Telescope Tour Contest a competition?
Yes, you compete with other groups and can have your tour featured. See WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest Official Rules.

Who can participate in Worldwide Telescope Tour Contest?
See WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest Official Rules.

How will a tour be judged?
The judging criteria, which is all equally weighted, for the tour contest entries are the following:

  • Use of WorldWide Telescope for illustrating scientific concepts
  • Storyline development
  • Educational value
  • Production value

Can I submit multiple tours?
No, we will only accept one (1) entry per person or team. See the WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest Official Rules.

What software tools will I need?
Go to the WorldWide Telescope website and download WorldWide Telescope, which is a free download. The web-based version of Worldwide Telescope is also available; however, it does not permit the authoring of tours.

How can I find out who won?
We will post the names of winners online at WorldWide Telescope Website. This list will remain posted one month after October 1, 2011. If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address, the phone number, or mailing address (if any) provided at time of entry within seven (7) days following completion of judging. See the WorldWide Telescope Contest Official Rules.

How do I author a tour?
For more information on how to author tours, see the following resources: