Stargazers got a new toy today, when Microsoft unveiled WorldWide Telescope, a free new program that gives armchair astronomers an unprecedented look at the stars. The program brings Internet space programs to new heights, rendering complete 3D models of thousands of galactic destinations, the New York Times reports.
“Exploring the virtual universe is incredibly smooth and seamless like a top-of-the-line computer game, but also the science is correct,” said one astronomy professor. “No sacrifices have been made. It just feels as if you are in it.” Google has its own space exploration software, but the arch-rivals profess mutual respect here. It “says a lot about the interests of the people in both companies,” said one Google executive.