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Editors' Review

by   / November 26, 2008

WorldWide Telescope is free software from Microsoft that lets users explore the universe with impressive content from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, and other famed ground- and space-based telescopes. Colorful nebulae, distant galaxies, black holes, and radiation clouds are all accessible from your desktop with a few clicks.

The main WorldWide Telescope interface includes seven tabs for navigating: Explore, Guided Tours, Search, Community, Telescope, View, and Settings. Some of the tabs, such as Explore and Search, include collapsible submenus with further options at the bottom of the interface. The bulk of the screen is devoted to displaying detailed images of objects throughout the universe.

You can move around the sky by clicking with your left mouse and dragging the screen. There are multiple mouse and keyboard commands for rotating and tilting the view, and zooming in and out. Right-click on any object to learn more about it. You can save your favorite places in the universe to visit them later under "My Collections," and you can watch guided tours of the universe conducted by experts and users. You can also add text, images, and shapes to enhance your tour, and you can even layer a soundtrack and voice over.

There are a few niggling bugs--zooming with the mouse wheel is inaccurate, canceling the download of a guided tour crashes the program, and the help content is hidden underneath the Explore drop-down menu. However, the software boasts a hoard of amazing telescope imagery to be explored as well as very cool features that let you view, save, and manage that imagery in many different ways. WorldWide Telescope appears to be an invaluable tool for hobbyists, astronomers, students, educators, or anyone curious about the universe.

What do you need to know about free software?

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Full Specifications


Publisher Microsoft
Publisher web site
Release Date July 22, 2015
Date Added July 22, 2015
Version 5.2.9


Category Educational Software
Subcategory Science Software

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista
Additional Requirements None

Download Information

File Size 91.32MB
File Name WWTSetup.5.2.9.msi


Total Downloads 390,170
Downloads Last Week 4


License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
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