WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest Launched

Users with a passion for astronomy, including kids age 14 or older, now have a chance to contribute to Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope project, by creating tours for the company’s visualization software environment designed to facilitate the exploration of the universe by transforming computers into telescopes.

Microsoft has just launched the WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest, a competition which involves putting together tours using the content available on the WorldWide Telescope site.

The Redmond company posted additional details about the contest on a Microsoft Research page dedicated to the initiative, including a list of themes that participants will need to choose from when building their tours.

The software giant allows teams of up to four people to work together on a single entry, but users can also enter the contest individually.

“Form a team of one to four people each of whom is over the age of 14. Go to the WorldWide Telescope website and download WorldWide Telescope, which is a free download. Choose a theme from the list of themes (…). Research the topic. Produce a guided tour that fulfills the requirements (see the WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest Official Rules),” the company said.

The WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest will end on September 1, 2011, so users do have plenty of time to create a tour and submit it to Microsoft. The challenge is only opened to people in the U.S., according to the official rules.

Furthermore, the WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest is more about passion and bragging rights than anything else, especially when considering the prize that the software giant is offering.

“Each winner will have their entry featured in Worldwide Telescope under “Guided Tours” in a folder designated for Worldwide Telescope Tour Contest Winners for a month. Additionally, entries will be featured on the front page of WorldWide Telescope Website, WorldWide Telescope Tour Contest, and a few may be chosen to be featured on WorldWide Telescope Ambassador's Program Website,” Microsoft said.

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