WorldWide Telescope allows you to explore real images obtained from some of the world’s most advanced telescopes. These are the same images that professional astronomers use in their research.
When you are in Explore mode, you can investigate the current view in more detail. You can zoom in and out using the Page-Up and Page-Down keys on your keyboard or the scroll wheel on your mouse. You can move your view by clicking and moving your mouse in the main window. You can also rotate the view by holding down the control key while you move your mouse.
In the left-hand part of the lower menu, there is a pull-down to select what you are looking at and what imagery is displayed. You can look at the Sky, which is what you are looking at now.
You can also select an exact image of the Sky with the Imagery pull-down. Currently, you are looking at the optical view of the Sky, as captured by the Digitized Sky Survey.
You can use the Imagery pull-down to see the Sky in other wavelengths, such as this infrared view of the sky from the IRAS satellite.
You can also look at Earth, which brings up a 3D view of our planet as seen from space. Note that this view only shows the Earth and does not include the effect of lighting from the Sun. Just a blue marble in an empty universe.
You can look at Planets, and other solar system worlds, such as Mars. These views also show just the body of interest by itself.
In the next viewing mode, you can look at various Panoramas, which are wrap-around images taken from the surface of Earth, Mars, and Earth’s Moon.
The last viewing mode allows you to explore a 3d model of the Solar System, and indeed the entire universe, at least as much of it where we have good models. The major components included are the Solar System, which includes planets, dwarf planets, moons and asteroids. Beyond the Solar System is the Hippoarcos catalog of stars. Then further out is a model of the Milky Way including a face on artistic view of our galaxy. Pulling further out galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) are shown.