I thought I’d share this with anyone who hasn’t received it yet… Another example of what you could do with the maps interface and an alternative tile set like Jeff’s blue-marble map.
Starting today, astronomy enthusiasts can now view imagery of millions
of celestial objects online - without downloading software.
Google Sky brings the imagery and functionality of the popular Sky in
Google Earth feature to a web browser, making it easier than ever for
students, amateur astronomers and professionals alike to explore the
By simply pointing their browsers to http://sky.google.com, users can
browse, zoom and pan the sky, search for stars and galaxies, and link
to any place in the sky. The same layers that are available in Sky in
Google Earth, such as “Backyard Astronomy,” “Hubble Showcase” and
podcasts from the radio program Earth & Sky can be accessed by
clicking on an image strip that appears along the bottom of the page.
For instance, the part of the sky visible when a user first loads
sky.google.com shows the Cigar Galaxy (also known as Messier 82), one
of the most striking galaxies in the universe. Switching on the
infrared view of the sky using the “Spitzer Infrared Showcase” button
at the bottom of the screen will overlay images from NASA’s Spitzer
satellite and show how different the Cigar Galaxy appears in the
infrared. When the overlay is activated a slider will appear, letting
users move back and forth between infrared and optical light. To look
in more detail, users should zoom into the galaxy or enter its name in
the search box.