The next generation of Google Sky

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 11:19 AM



The new year is here and it's time to unveil a new set of features and content for Sky in Google Earth. This update is particularly exciting for us because most of the new images, views and sounds have been developed by the Sky community. From views of the sky across the electromagnetic spectrum to exploring how the sky changes over time, there's something to satisfy everyone's interest in the stars.

Using NASA's space telescopes, you can view how the universe looks at many different wavelengths -- from X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared light all the way through to radio waves. You can also play with the transparency of the different overlays for the Sombrero galaxy to see how different parts of the galaxy light up in different wavelengths.


For the nighttime sky observer, the Earth & Sky layer provides podcasts to let you know about upcoming events in the sky. Pull up a chair and sit back to hear about everything from meteor showers and eclipses to the latest news from the world of astronomy.

In addition to showing you the latest from the world of astronomy, the new version of Sky also brings you glimpses of the sky as seen by astronomers in the 17th century. Constellation maps from the David Rumsey collection and the U.S. Naval Library show the astronomical state of the art, three centuries ago (there be dragons).



Also, we now have a community layer that highlights contributions that Sky users have posted on the Google Earth Community site (http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/sky).

Finally, we're excited to announce the availability of Sky, Moon and Mars imagery in the Google Maps API. This allows any developer to build interesting applications and websites using Sky imagery, and extend the Sky experience to any place on the web. Some early examples of these applications include the Cosmic Visibility page and even an iPod touch hack.

We welcome you to come and explore the new dimensions of Sky.