Google Sky

Google Sky

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Google Sky is a feature
Feature (software design)
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers defines the term feature in IEEE 829 as "A distinguishing characteristic of a software item ." - Feature-rich :...

 for Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

's Google Earth
Google Earth
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency funded company acquired by Google in 2004 . It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite...

 and an online sky/outer space viewer at It was created on August 27, 2007. The application allows users to view a collaboration of images from NASA satellites, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey or SDSS is a major multi-filter imaging and spectroscopic redshift survey using a dedicated 2.5-m wide-angle optical telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, United States. The project was named after the Alfred P...

, and the Hubble Telescope.

It is also available on Android and can be used on a smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

 as an augmented reality
Augmented reality
Augmented reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is...


Google Earth version

The first Google Sky version to be created was on the virtual globe
Virtual globe
A virtual globe is a 3D software model or representation of the Earth or another world. A virtual globe provides the user with the ability to freely move around in the virtual environment by changing the viewing angle and position. Compared to a conventional globe, virtual globes have the...

 program called Google Earth. It features a number of layers, similar to the earth mode. It is mapped with images on the inside of the Google Earth sphere, with the north and south poles lining up with the two poles in Google Sky, it is viewed from the inside looking out from the center. It is currently facing competition from Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

's WorldWide Telescope
WorldWide Telescope
The WorldWide Telescope is a computer program created by Microsoft that displays the astronomical sky as maps, the 3D Universe, visualised data sets and animations. It was announced at the TED Conference in Monterey, California in February 2008. Users are able to pan around outer space and zoom as...



  • Welcome to Sky: An introduction to the Sky mode.
  • Current Sky Events
    • Earth & Sky Podcasts
    • Hubblecast
    • StarDate by the University of Texas
    • VOEventNET
  • Our Solar System: Shows locations, orbits and information of the Solar System
    Solar System
    The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

  • Backyard Astronomy
    Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

    : Shows information about constellations
    Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal of critical and democratic theory and successor of Praxis International. It is edited by Andrew Arato, Amy Allen, and Andreas Kalyvas...

     and other space sights visible from a backyard telescope
    A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

  • Featured Observatories
    • Hubble
      Hubble is a surname and may refer to:* Brian Hubble , American painter and illustrator* Eddie Hubble , American Jazz trombonist* Edwin Hubble , American astronomer* Jack Hubble , English cricketer...

    • IRAS
      The Infrared Astronomical Satellite was the first-ever space-based observatory to perform a survey of the entire sky at infrared wavelengths....

       Infrared Sky
  • Education Center
    • Celestron
      Celestron is a company that manufactures and imports telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, and accessories for their products.-Origins and History:...

       SkyScout Audio
      Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

    • Virtual
      The term virtual is a concept applied in many fields with somewhat differing connotations, and also, differing denotations.The term has been defined in philosophy as "that which is not real" but may display the salient qualities of the real....

      Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

    • User's Guide to Galaxies
    • Life of a Star
  • Historical Sky Maps
    • Rumsey Star Maps
    • Hevelius Constellations
  • Sky Community: Posted KML
    KML or kml may refer to:* Kamileroi Airport , Queensland, Australia* Keyhole Markup Language, an XML geospatial data file format...

     files in the Sky forum
    Internet forum
    An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

     in the Google Earth Community.


Google also runs an internet version of Sky, which was created in response to the popularity of the Google Earth application. Google Sky Website was launched on March 13, 2008. It's accessible from any web browser and operating system and available in 26 languages (the first Google Maps product to support right-to-left languages). It was coded by Diego Gavinowich, a Latin America Code Jam finalist from Buenos Aires who joined Google for a winter internship, with the help of other engineers on their 20% time.

Features include:
  • Search
  • Layers
    • Infrared
    • Microwave
    • Historical
  • Galleries highlighting
    • Selected images from Hubble and other telescopes.
    • Chandra X-Ray Showcase
    • GALEX Ultraviolet Showcase
    • Spitzer Infrared Showcase
  • Current planet positions and constellations.
  • Overlays of custom KML content.
  • Earth & Sky podcasts gallery.

See also

  • Celestia
    Celestia is a 3D astronomy program created by Chris Laurel. The program is based on the Hipparcos Catalogue and allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction and at any time in history...

  • Digital Universe Atlas
    Digital Universe Atlas
    Digital Universe Atlas or Digital Universe is a free open source software planetarium application, available under the terms of the Illinois Open Source License, and running on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X , AmigaOS 4, and IRIX....

  • KStars
    KStars is a planetarium program using the KDE Platform for Unix-like computer operating systems. It provides an accurate graphical representation of the night sky, from any location on Earth, at any date and time...

    SKY-MAP.ORG is a wiki and interactive sky map that covers more than half a billion celestial objects. Users can view the whole star sky at once and zoom in to view areas in greater detail. WikiSky includes many stars, galaxies, constellations, and planets but is still in development...

  • Stellarium
  • Universe Sandbox
    Universe Sandbox
    Universe Sandbox is an interactive space gravity simulator. Using Universe Sandbox, one can see the effects of gravity on objects in the universe and run scale simulations of our Solar System, various galaxies or other simulations, while at the same time, interacting and maintaining control over...

  • Google Moon
    Google Moon
    Google Moon is a service similar to Google Maps that shows satellite images of the Moon. It was launched by Google on July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing...

  • Google Mars
    Google Mars
    Google Mars was at first an in-browser version of Google Maps which provides a visible imagery view, like Google Moon, as well as infrared imagery and shaded relief of the planet Mars. Users can toggle between the elevation, visible, and infrared data, in the same manner as switching between map,...