UNIVERSE, 2010 Universe 2010 KICP

Housing & Travel

Important Dates
  • March 15, 2010 - Registration deadline
  • April 1, 2010 - Registration form completed and $50 registration fee paid (for accepted applications)
  • April 28 - 30, 2010 - "Exploring the Universe Bit by Bit" Workshop

Software Websites

WorldWide Telescope

Google Sky




The WorldWide Telescope (WWT)
Google Sky

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT)


The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space telescopes in the world for a seamless, guided exploration of the universe.


WWT provides has several visualization modes including all-sky imagery, panoramas, planets, and 3d Universe mode. The all-sky mode provides pole-to-pole coverage of the celestial sphere with hundreds of all sky surveys, and millions of study images. The panorama mode allows viewing immersive photographic panoramas from missions to other planets, or even back on earth. The 3d universe mode has an astrometrically correct view of the universe where you can fly from 1 meter resolution on earth or the planets out thru the Solar System, the Milky Way, out to the large scale structure of the universe. Integrating this all together is a tour authoring environment that allows any user to create an immersive tour of any and all of the WWT modes, along with music, voice-over and user provided data.

WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft's high-performance Visual Experience Engine(TM), enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky, blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience. WWT is a scalable system that can run in environments from inside a web browser, to 3d accelerated desktop, to full multi-channel dome systems. WWT is also the most extensive way to user real astronomy data in the rich environment supporting native astronomy data standards like VO Table, AVM, SAMP and FITS.

Software Developers/Instructors

  • Jonathan Fay


Google Sky


Google Sky - Traveling to the stars has never been easier

To help you explore the far reaches of our universe, we have teamed up with astronomers at some of the largest observatories in the world to bring you a new view of the sky. Using Google Maps this tool provides an exciting way to browse and explore the universe. You can find the positions of the planets and constellations on the sky and even watching the birth of distant galaxies as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.


We are particularly excited about the ability to view the universe at different wavelengths, to see how it would look if our eyes worked in the x-rays or infrared. As you explore these new layers, play with the transparency to blend between the different wavelengths and see how different parts of the universe light up at different wavelengths.

If you are interested in what's happening on the sky tonight or over the next few months then check out the podcasts from Earth and Sky or search for the position of your favorite planet."

Software Developers/Instructors

  • Andrew Connolly
  • Noel Gorelick
  • Ryan Scranton




Celestia - The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions.


Celestia is a 3-D astronomy program created by Chris Laurel. The program is based on the Hipparcos Catalogue and allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction and at any time in history. Celestia displays and interacts with objects ranging in scale from artificial satellites to entire galaxies in three dimensions using OpenGL, from perspectives which would not be possible from a classic planetarium or other ground based display.

Celestia is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Released under the GNU General Public License, Celestia is free software.

Software Developers/Instructors

  • Chris Laurel




Partiview (Particle View) - a program that visualizes and animates three dimensional particle data. With Partiview, you have the ability to navigate through 3-D data as if you're "flying." Partiview is not limited to particle data; it can display 2-D images as well as multiple 2-D polygons that can be built into 3-D surfaces.


Partiview was created by the Virtual Director Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It is the child of a larger program called Virtual Director which was developed to create and edit flight paths through data sets in the CAVE virtual reality environment. These recorded flight paths are useful when making digital movies for educational programs like NOVA, IMAX films, and even the Space Shows at the Hayden Planetarium.

Partiview possesses many of the same features as Virtual Director, allowing one to view and explore data sets on your desktop or laptop. It cannot record flight paths, though it can play them. You can learn more about Partiview and how to visualize your own data in this manual. In addition, log on to Hayden Planetarium to download the latest version of Partiview and accompanying data from Hayden Planetarium's Digital Universe.

It is an industrial strength, interactive, mono- or stereoscopic viewer for 4-dimensional datasets. It is written in C++/ OpenGL and has been compiled to run on Linux, Windows, OS X, and Irix.

Software Developers/Instructors

  • Stuart Levy