Microsoft unveils the worldwide telescope at TED

image We were following the buzz about a revolutionary product that Microsoft was going to debut at the TED conference, which started on February 27th and will run till March 1st. We did our own speculation on what the product might or might not be.

Well the project is out!  It is called the World Wide telescope and is an interactive tapestry that is stitched together with data from the Hubble and several terrestrial telescopes.  During a demo at the conference, the project leaders Roy Gould from the Harvard Center for astrophysics and Curtis Wong from Microsoft, showed how users can zoom in on objects in the night sky, and look at incredibly detailed pictures as well as access information regarding the object from the web.

ted world wide telescope interactive

As with all good applications, the software has social networking woven into it.  Anybody can design a virtual tour of their favorite part of the universe and share it with their friends.

The TED conference brings together thinkers from around the world and let them present their ideas in 18 minutes, at the conference. The big Ted prize (given to 3 people every year) is $100,000 cash plus the "granting of one wish to change the world". Winners get to unveil their wish at the award ceremony at the conference.

This year’s TED prize winners are:

Cosmologist Neil Turok, who has worked on the cosmic ray background in the universe, and its implications on the big bang theory.

Author Dave Eggers who has written the critically acclaimed "A heartbreaking work of staggering genius"

Former nun, comparative religion expert and author of "The spiral staircase", Karen Armstrong.

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