Tours

What are WWT Tours?

"Tours" are interactive paths through the night sky, designed to tell a story or teach a particular astronomy concept.  They look like movies, but when viewed in WWT, you can pause the tour to explore regions of the sky that catch your interest, and you can click on hyperlinks throughout the tour to learn more about an object or phenomenon. You can view tours on the web client of WWT or in the full desktop version. The links below have brief descriptions of tours we recommend. Most tour descriptions on this site have a screen capture video version of the tour. For tours that are not released as part of WWT, we have included the tour file that you can play in the desktop version of WWT to view the fully interactive version.

Journey through the Universe

This tour gives a quick overview of some of WWT's main features, allowing the user choose what parts of the universe to explore.

Leaving Earth

This is part of a series of tours developed by Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. She uses WWT to introduce new concepts at the beginning of each lecture. This tour introduces the surface of Mars.

Life Cycle of Stars Like Our Sun

Our sun, and other stars like it, do not remain exactly as they appear now. Stellar lifetimes are much longer than ours, but like us, they progress though stages of life. The story of these stages  tells us about the formation of the planets and their fate in the events to come billions of years from now. In this tour, we investigate the life cycle of stars like our sun.

Many Worlds

This is part of a series of tours developed by Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. She uses WWT to introduce new concepts at the beginning of each lecture. This tour introduces the geological features of different bodies in our solar system.

Moon

This is part of a series of tours developed by Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. She uses WWT to introduce new concepts at the beginning of each lecture. This tour introduces the different phases of the moon.

Naked-eye open star clusters

Here are several open star clusters that you can identify without binoculars or a telescope from a dark-sky site.

Northern Hemisphere

This is part of a series of tours developed by Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. She uses WWT to introduce new concepts at the beginning of each lecture. This tour introduces the view of the sky from the northern hemisphere.

Orbital Allignment

This is a tour developed by the students of Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. This tour introduces the different types of eclipses.

Orion Nebula

Star and planet formation in the Orion Nebula as shown in images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Over the Rainbow

A tour of Sloan Digital Sky Survey objects, highlighting features in their spectra.

Parallax

This is part of a series of tours developed by Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. She uses WWT to introduce new concepts at the beginning of each lecture. This tour introduces how one's viewpoint affects the apparent location of different objects.

Pluto

A visit to Pluto using WWT's new 3D mode, showing some of the reasons why it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.

Retrograde Motion

This is part of a series of tours developed by Prof. Stella Offner for use in her Astro 101 course at U. Mass Amherst. She uses WWT to introduce new concepts at the beginning of each lecture. This tour introduces the phenomenon of retrograde motion.

Scales of the Universe in Powers of 10

This tour takes you on a journey that spans 25 orders of magnitude, beginning on Earth, looking at objects roughly one meter in size, and spanning the Universe to scales that are roughly 1025 meters in size. 

Search for Extra-Solar Planets

Explains how astronomers are able to detect extrasolar planets and some findings from the TrES project and the promise of the Kepler telescope.

Seven Top Galaxies

Amateur astronomers love to observe galaxies. Although you need a dark site, you can spot some galaxies even through small telescopes. This tour shows you seven of the sky's finest galaxies.

Space Elevator

This tour explores the possibilities of the space elevator.