Google Sky opens up the heavens on the web!

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The world's largest search engine has opened up the skies for internet surfers with a passion for astronomy.

Google Earth, a free piece of software downloaded from the web, already allows people to soar over major tourist spots around the world.
But with the new service - known as Sky - they can now fly through space, visiting more than 100 million stars and 200 million galaxies created from thousands of satellite photographs.
With a single click of the mouse, users can choose a part of the world, and discover exactly what celestial bodies exist above it.
The more they zoom in the more detailed the imagery becomes.
To learn more about what they see, users can click on the star, constellation or galaxy, and a detailed description will appear on their screen.
Some of the leading scientific and academic centres, including NASA, have provided the images, which Google says it will update regularly.
Eventually the company hopes that "third-party user-generated images" will be added to the site by astronomers who have noticed something exceptional in the sky.
Ed Parsons, from Google, said the tool would be appreciated by aspiring astronomers who had the misfortune of living under smog-filled skies.
"When was the last time that someone in London could look at the sky and see the stars?" he said.
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"With this you can see exactly what exists above your home whether you live in New York, Australia or London."


The development has been hailed as "an amazing facility" by astronomers, especially for school children who will no longer have to rely on traditional text books to learn about the universe.
"Just as we are about to celebrate the 400th anniversary of telescope astronomy, this initiative will open a new window for anyone to be able to appreciate, explore and discover our fragile position in this vast and amazing universe," said Dr Francisco Diego, from the department of physics and astronomy at University College London.
"This is an imaginative, powerful and unique tool, using modern technology to help people to understand more about science." :p:p




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Source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/22/nsky122.xml
 
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