Google Sky, Now in Your Web Browser

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So while the rest of us who are not Robert Scoble are still waiting to cry and experience Microsoft Research’s WorldWide telescope project that lets you zoom through the galaxy on your computer, Google is putting its not-quite-so-glitzy Google Sky software out on the Web. Glitzy or not (the site is a bit jerky), for astronomy buffs it is an amazing resource.

Google Sky was formerly available only within the Google Earth software, but now you can check it out with your browser. It lets you pan through the galaxy and check out different celestial bodies in ultraviolet, infrared, x-ray, or microwave light. The navigation is the familiar one you know from Google Maps, although I couldn’t immediately figure out how to zoom in and out. But I’m no rocket scientist. The best part about it is you can search the galaxy by typing astronomy terms into the search box. More details from the Google Lat Long Blog:

* Powerful search that lets you browse tens of thousands of named objects.
* Three optical sky surveys that show you what your naked eye would see if it had a really good zoom lens. Try switching to infrared, microwave, ultraviolet, or x-ray to see the sky in a completely different light. Or blend between these views to create unique visualizations on the fly.
* Galleries highlighting the best images from Hubble and many other telescopes.
* Current planet positions and constellations.
* Overlays of custom KML content. (Simply paste a Sky KML URL into the search box, just like on Google Maps.)
* Last but not least, the Earth & Sky podcasts gallery is not to be missed, particularly for those who run a classroom.

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