Microsoft is just going to make that possible. With a new service offering called World Wide Telescope, Microsoft will help you explore the universe with your desktop.
The homepage says, "WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft's high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience."
Well you may have to wait a little bit, because the release is only expected in Spring 2008.
Watch an astonishing sneak preview here in TED.