Flying amongst galaxies
As anyone who has created their own tour will tell you, Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope is a fantastic tool for exploring the Universe. While the web based version will do for viewing your Galaxy Zoo favourites, the real power comes with downloading the new `Aphelion’ release – which depended on Galaxy Zoo users for one of its best features.
Worldwide Telescope gives you the chance to fly amongst the galaxies of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. While before each galaxy was represented by a randomly selected image, in the new version the correct type of galaxy is shown in the correct position. The team at Microsoft relied on Galaxy Zoo to tell them where to put a spiral and where an elliptical, and then matched templates to the observed size and brightness. As a result, in flying around the Sloan you’re also exploring the results of all those clicks – which should inspire you to get back to Zoo 2 for more.
To get the ‘Aphelion’ download working, you first have to install Microsoft.net Framework v3.5, which takes a lot more than ‘a minute or two’ to install. After that, WWT is a very useful tool with some great features- though I have yet to fully check it out.
Thanks, Rick. I was looking for that the other day until my eyes were crossing. %^)
I’ve always liked WWT, but couldn’t figure out how to integrate it with Galaxy Zoo…duh…now I know.
That’s a great reason to stay up a little late than usual on a Friday night, or early Saturday morning giving that you don’t have to work. The heavens is indeed a very hypnotizing place.