Idea for World Wide Telescope addin


I am wondering whether anyone has ever suggested having an add-in for people to install with the local software. There are the online telescope services where if you become a member and regularly pay a fee you can place observation jobs and/or reserve telescope time. Two examples of such services are and also Slooh.

The idea works by integrating an API for these services with the user interface of World Wide Telescope to supply co-ordinates, view jobs, view completed jobs, generally manage jobs, if service allows - live feeds. Since authentication would be required this, it preferably would be completed by the add-in within WWT. It would utilise a TLS 1.2 or higher secure connection when performing the authentication and appropriate at rest encryption of the details (and/or of the authentication token).

Could this make a good collaborative project for people who want to give back on the project? This can also work well with increasing interest in Space so we can have more astronauts and other required resources. It would go especially well with the upcoming mission for NASA (see their website - particularly Artemis mission). As well as missions being run in association with the British National Space Centre.



Thanks for the suggestion! This seems like a cool idea, and it would have some similarities to the existing support in the Windows application for control of local telescopes via ASCOM. Another relevant service might be the MicroObservatory, which is based out of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian like myself.

Perhaps as a first step, we could look into these services and investigate how they distribute images — if they don’t already, we might want to see whether they can start using AVM tags and VAMP feeds, which would be the best technologies for making it straightforward to view their images in WWT using existing features.