Wednesday, August 22, 2007

User's Guide to the Galaxy

For the last half hour I have been navigating the constellations care of Google Earth’s new feature, Sky. (It’s highly appropriate that this is release 4.2 ☺) Announced on Google’s LatLong blog, Sky is ‘like having a giant, virtual telescope at your command -- your own personal planetarium!’

The layers panel displays images from the Hubble telescope, showing the effect of gravitational lenses and powerful outflows from young stars. ‘Unusual galaxies’ takes you to star cluster NCG290 in the Small Magellanic Cloud, linking to HST raw imaging data and the NASA bibliographic database. Clicking on red information points provides further explanation of the phenomena. Cosmic dust bunnies will always get my attention. The ‘backyard astronomy’ section will certainly be a boon for kids and enthusiasts everywhere.

Google continues to rock my world, and dare I say it, universe ☺

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