WorldWide Telescope Partners Community
May 12, 2008
A list of comments and quotes from organizations and partners that collaborated with Microsoft on the WorldWide Telescope project.

Microsoft Research would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the following organizations that provided images, guided tours and their expertise to make WorldWide Telescope and the universe available to explorers of all ages.

Adler Planetarium

Doug Roberts, director of the Adler Space Visualization Laboratory (SVL), created the tour “Center of the Milky Way Galaxy” based on his radio data research for the WorldWide Telescope. This tour, and other future tours, will first be available in the SVL and then in the CyberSpace Gallery. Visitors to Adler will be able to access WorldWide Telescope at kiosks set up in the SVL. WorldWide Telescope also will be incorporated into select “Astronomy Conversations,” daily conversations with Adler astronomers, which take place Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the SVL.

WorldWide Telescope “has the possibility of being transformative in the way we educate people and get them to become familiar with and excited about astronomy.”

  • Lucy Fortson, Vice President for Research, Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, and Senior Research Associate, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago

California Institute of Technology

WorldWide Telescope is “a beautiful platform for explaining and getting people excited about astronomy, and I think the professional astronomers will come to use it as well.”

  • Roy Williams, Senior Scientist, California Institute of Technology

“The WorldWide Telescope is going to be a fantastic outreach platform for astronomy and perhaps even applied computing and information science.”

  • George Djorgovski, Professor of Astronomy and Faculty Director, Center for Advanced Computing Research, California Institute of Technology

Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s flagship X-ray telescope and part of its “Great Observatories” program, has contributed about 30 images to the WorldWide Telescope. These include not only images that contain X-ray data but also others that are multiwavelength composites of different types of radiation. In addition, staff members at Chandra have provided video and narration for six tours on galaxies and supernovas and their remnants.

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Researchers and educators at Harvard have been excited to be working with Microsoft on many aspects of WorldWide Telescope. In addition to consulting on WorldWide Telescope features and data sets, Alyssa Goodman, professor of astronomy and founding director of Harvard’s Initiative in Innovative Computing, created a tour called “Dust & Us.” She and Curtis Wong are also collaborating with WGBH to explore how to utilize WorldWide Telescope for education in a variety of media over the coming year. Roy Gould, a noted education researcher in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics’ Science Education Group, has been working with Wong to hone the WorldWide Telescope’s educational approach. Gould also presented the technical preview of WorldWide Telescope at the 2008 TED conference.

“WorldWide Telescope has enough capability that even professional astronomers and astrophysicists are eager to use it, not just as a mechanism for public outreach, but for our own work.”

  • Alyssa Goodman, Professor of Astronomy, Director of the Initiative in Innovative Computing, Harvard University

“The beauty of the WorldWide Telescope is that it enables us to seamlessly connect the world of learning that takes place in a science museum with the learning that can take place at home over the Web, with this much larger access to the whole world of astronomy.”

  • Roy Gould, Director, NASA Smithsonian Universe Education Forum, Science Education Department, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

“I see the WorldWide Telescope as having an important educational mission. … The WorldWide Telescope gives somebody a kind of freedom to follow their imagination.”

  • Robert Kirshner, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University

Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has agreed to partner with Microsoft Corp. to design an educational strategy for the WorldWide Telescope. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy and population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“This puts not the world but the universe at a student’s fingertips, and challenges them to explore. It’s simply an amazing tool. We envision open-ended curricula that encourage the student in everyone.”

  • Catherine Casserly, Director of the Open Educational Resources Initiative, Hewlett Foundation

Johns Hopkins University

Alexander Szalay, Alumni Centennial Professor of astronomy in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy and professor of computer science at the Johns Hopkins University, worked with renowned Microsoft Senior Researcher Jim Gray on the development of large-scale, high-performance online databases such as SkyServer and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In addition, Szalay’s group at Johns Hopkins built the multiterabyte archive for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (known as the Cosmic Genome Project) and played a major role in the National Virtual Observatory, an alliance to construct a system connecting all astronomy data in the world.

“The WorldWide Telescope is a wonderful demonstration ... the ability to see the whole sky in context. And it gives you an appreciation of how big the universe really is.”

  • Alex Szalay, Professor of Physics, the Johns Hopkins University

“WorldWide Telescope will allow people to start by looking at the sky that they experience and zoom in to a single scientific result. WorldWide Telescope is a way of making that connection in a way that’s never been made before.”

  • Jordan Raddick, Science Education and Outreach Coordinator, the Johns Hopkins University

NASA

NASA coordinated with Microsoft to make images from its portfolio of astronomical and planetary content available through WorldWide Telescope, including images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

“The WorldWide Telescope is a great example of a piece of educational software that’s been designed intelligently from the ground up. And it is the most impressive one I’ve seen to date to handle the visualization of the sky in a very interactive, smooth, clean interface.”

  • Robert Hurt, Astronomer, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, California Institute of Technology

WGBH Boston

WGBH Boston, the single largest producer of PBS prime-time, children’s and online programming, and a pioneer in educational multimedia and media access technologies, is collaborating with Microsoft to develop engaging online content using the WorldWide Telescope technology. WGBH’s NOVA is working with Microsoft to develop an interactive online tour that will use the WorldWide Telescope to navigate science and technology content from NOVA broadcasts and Web site content. The WGBH kids program Fetch! is exploring the possibility of a segment where an episode’s challenge uses the WorldWide Telescope. In addition, WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain is looking at ways to create an online tour for educators and students to use the WorldWide Telescope.

“WorldWide Telescope really seems to be opening a door for everyone to explore and connect with the heavens … exploring stories that they don’t even know are available to them.”

  • Jonathan C. Abbott, President and Chief Executive Officer, WGBH Educational Foundation

Griffith Observatory and Space Telescope Science Institute (STSCI) also are WorldWide Telescope partners.

Media Relations Contacts

Sarah Beck
Manager of Public Relations
Adler Planetarium
(312) 542-2424
sbeck@adlerplanetarium.org

Megan Watzke
Chandra X-ray Observatory
(617) 496-7998
mwatzke@cfa.harvard.edu

Jack Fischer
Communications Officer
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
(650) 234-4500, ext. 5744
jfischer@hewlett.org

Lisa De Nike
Office of News and Information
The Johns Hopkins University
(443) 287-9960
lde@jhu.edu

Peter Panagopoulos
Brand Marketing Director, Children’s Programming
WGBH
(617) 300-3003
peter_panagopoulos@wgbh.org

Carole McFall
Account Manager, NOVA Marketing & Communications
WBGH
(617) 300-3988
carole_mcfall@wgbh.org

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