By combining texture generation with webkit and other web utilities, it is possible to have virtual sky which is from a live web cam, constructed images from NOAA, the sky of Mars, moon, or from the space station. So I guess it isn't really virtual sky in the usual sense, as it is real sky presented virtually. In a way it is like a web browser, except that the web is not WYSIWYG. Instead it is WIWIWIG ( What I Want Is What I Get), whether live naked mole rats, Grozny, Mars, moon or stars and in any spectral plane. By caching the web content, it is more or less live, dependent on the availability of information.
I find it vastly more entertaining than any TV show, movie, or science special. It is real, immediate, and is exactly what I want without any added BS. Whether it is Slashdot or Google street view, Google news, what I see is what is now and pertinent filtered by my software to accommodate my interests and priorities. I can enable FX to create intros, or set the mood with sound effects or music based on key words in content. It is very simple to strstr() for danger and use SDL to play "dangerMusic.ogg" whenever it encounters items in the news containing that. I wonder if I could take all the words from a Slashdot article and fabricate a sound that indicated content. I wouldn't even have to look at the data, it would either warn or fog horn to indicate "idle" chatter. It might be interesting to play a symphony of effects that match the concepts, like stars, discovery, aliens, and such. It could take some art to integrate so it doesn't become cacophony.
The image is actual data from Mars rover in another time within my virtual tree matrix world. I have added a HUD for convenience sake.