Microsoft Corp. launched its WorldWide Telescope late Monday, bringing the free Web-based program for zooming around the universe to a broad audience.
WorldWide Telescope, developed by Microsoft's research arm, knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and others.
Computer users can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics.
The site lets users choose from a number of different telescopes and switch between different light wavelengths.
"The WorldWide Telescope is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe," said Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, in a statement.