Sep
25
2007

Explore the universe

Google Sky
Google Sky
Want to explore the universe? With views of 100 million stars and 200 million galaxies, Google Sky lets you be a virtual space traveler with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Download Google Earth

To get started on your own outer-space adventure, download the most recent version of Google Earth software. Select "Switch to Sky" under the "view" menu or click on the icon that I show with a red arrow.

You might need a guide

The Universe is a big place so you might get lost. For help, the column on the left offer lots of guided tours. Try the sightseeing link under places. The screen capture shows what I found by selecting "Supernovae and Exotic Stars" under the layers section. PCworld has created a file of Google Sky Placemarks. Download it and open it with Google Earth. In the left column, in the Places box, click the (+) next to "Spectacular Sights in Google Sky". These are like bookmarks (or stick pins) that take you to some fantastic places. One (A Dramatic Outburst - V838Mon) has a time line slider so you can see how the event changed over several years.

Have fun

Google sky incorporates high-resolution images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Digital Sky Survey Consortium into a fun, interactive learning tool. I hope you can check it out (high speed internet required).

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