NASA embraces Microsoft WorldWide Telescope program

NASA is processing immense sets of images and data from Mars and the moon into a special Microsoft format for viewing in the WorldWide Telescope. But the U.S. space agency also plans to publicly release, as open-source software, the tools it's developing to make the conversion. The technology at the center of Microsoft's NASA agreement is […]

NASA is processing immense sets of images and data from Mars and the moon into a special Microsoft format for viewing in the WorldWide Telescope. But the U.S. space agency also plans to publicly release, as open-source software, the tools it's developing to make the conversion. The technology at the center of Microsoft's NASA agreement is called “TOAST” — short for Tessellated Octahedral Adaptive Subdivision Transform -- a technique and format developed by Microsoft to display flat images (such as those from telescopes) on representations of spherical objects (such as planets and moons) on a computer screen.

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