Mountain View, USA, August 22, 2007: Google announced the launch of Sky, a new feature that enables users of Google Earth to view the sky as seen from planet Earth.
With Sky, users can now float through the skies via Google Earth. This easy-to-use tool enables all Earth users to view and navigate through 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies. High resolution imagery and informative overlays create a unique playground for visualizing and learning about space.
As part of the new feature, Google is introducing seven informative layers that illustrate various celestial bodies and events:
Sky was created by Google’s Pittsburgh engineering team by stitching together imagery from numerous scientific third parties including the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Digital Sky Survey Consortium (DSSC), CalTech’s Palomar Observatory, the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC), and the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO). The initiative was born out of the University of Washington’s participation in the Google Visiting Faculty Program, which makes it possible for leading academic researchers to visit Google for 6-12 month periods.
To access Sky in Google Earth, users need to download the newest version of Google Earth, available at: http://earth.google.com. The feature will be available on all Google Earth domains, in 13 languages.
The users will then have to click “Switch to Sky” from the “view” drop-down menu in Google Earth, or click the Sky button on the Google Earth toolbar. The interface and navigation are similar to that of standard Google Earth steering, including dragging, zooming, search, “My Places,” and layer selection.
“We’re excited to provide users with rich astronomical imagery and enhanced content that enables them to both learn about what they’re seeing above and tell their own stories,” said Lior Ron, Google Product Manager. “By working with some of the industry’s leading experts, we’ve been able to transform Google Earth into a virtual telescope” added Ron.