Astronomy and the Geek

Photo of the Moon by Bill Schrier, 2 March 2004

Photo of the Moon by Bill Schrier, 2 March 2004

Original post:  14 May 2008

Microsoft occasionally does some pretty cool things, and their WorldWide Telescope is certainly right up there in the coolness and geekdom categories.   I’m an unabashed astronomy buff (that’s my moon photo on the right, but Havard/NASA’ssupernova photo on the left).  
Now, I have to admit that Seattle is not the best place in the world to “do” astronomy.   There are a few clouds here once in a while, for example, and just a bit of light pollution.   I’m a geek who built his own Newtonian reflector telescope in high school (no, I was NOT geeky enough to grind my own mirror).  And yes, I have a couple of fairly expensive telescopes languishing in my basement due to lack of deck space to set them up, the light pollution and an … ah … recent aversion to going out in the cold and rain (it can’t be my “age”, can it?).   Enter Microsoft, with their very cool offering of a downloadable program with access to more than 12 terabytes of astronomical imagery.  

Really new Supernova, image from the Chandra orbiting observatory, released May, 2008

Really new Supernova, image from the Chandra orbiting observatory, released May, 2008

A Seattle geek’s paradise.   Astronomy from your desktop … computer, that is.   And no matter what you think of Microsoft, it is pretty cool that they put some of those large profits into doing really beautiful, life-enriching, projects like WorldWide Telescope.   Thanks Bill (the “other” Bill, that is).

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Filed under astronomy, Microsoft

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