Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 1:30 PMWe like to think big. Vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big (to paraphrase one of my favorite authors). And thanks to the flexibility of Google Maps technology and the world wide web, we’ve been able to work at a universal scale (literally). We first brought you Google Mars and Google Moon. And then last year's release of Sky in Google Earth delivered night sky imagery to the masses via a downloadable application. But we didn’t want web-based users to be left out of that cosmic exploration experience.
And so I'm delighted to announce the launch of the web version of Google Sky, which turns your browser into a virtual telescope that can zoom and pan across the entire cosmos. You now have several ways to easily explore the universe:
- 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.
This release wouldn't have been possible without a lot of hard work from many people, including some outside of Google. Check out one team member's unique story on the Official Google Blog.