It sparked controversy around the world in 2006. The International Astronomical Union declassified Pluto. No more Pluto? Are they kidding?
It actually sparked a little 'discussion' in my own household this past weekend.
Great timing? Enter Microsoft.
Earlier tonight, TechCrunch reported that Microsoft had launched the much anticipated World Wide Telescope on the web.
Sarah Perez followed up with some interesting background on On10.net.
The soft launch from Microsoft Research is actually a 'Spring Beta' and despite the fact that I was unable to control the telescope (bummer), today's roll-out had a myriad of awesome views of our solar system and beyond, including many from the Hubble telescope.
(Note: The program downloads some features on demand but does provide a button to clear your cache, which could fill up pretty quick on some systems.)
The starting coordinates are, you guessed it, Microsoft Research's ultra-high-tech Building 99.
The best part?
Pluto is still there.
Update: The official release from Microsoft is here ... and for those interested in the 'Pluto controversy' and how it could get reversed this August (I rarely do this) ...see Wikipedia.