It’s not another type of Google Earth that browses through the earth from the sky. It’s the other way around to explore the universe from the earth, or more interestingly from the web and your desktop. I have been using it for a number of years now, and it is one of Microsoft's little 'secrets'.
Developed by Microsoft Research with the Microsoft high performance visual experience engine, WorldWide Telescope is a web or desktop version of Telescope that enables you to explore the universe bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world and combining it with 3D navigation.
You can explore through the telescope in two ways, a web client for Mac or PCs that don’t meet the minimum requirement or a windows client that runs Windows XP SP2 or later. Either way provides you the same immersion seamless beautiful environment.
The new desktop beta, just released yesterday with a name The Layerscape, gives even more with a whole new way to look at the universe, share it through cloud communities on the web via tools fully integrated into the client.
What’s more interesting is that there is even an add-in for Excel that you can highlight and push your data into the visualization environment and see it in action.
The best part? Free.