August 23, 2007

Google Earth's New Sky Feature

Google Earth has always been a great software. It allowed people to wander the globe right in front of their monitors, letting them find famous monuments and buildings, visit different countries, and most importantly, see what their house looks like from space. Now, Google has added even more functionality to Google Earth with a new sky feature. Not only can you just see the Earth, but also what the night sky looks like from any place on the world. To start, you go to any place in the world, for example, you can go to your home. With a simple click of the newly added sky button in Google Earth (see picture at left), you can switch to sky mode. Switching to sky mode takes you to a interface which will be familiar if you already use Google Earth. You can search for objects like searching for places in Google Earth. Also there are layers (like The Moon, and Constellations), just like in Google Earth. Also if you use The Moon and The Planets layer, a slider comes up where you can change the time to watch the planets' motions. Overall the Sky Feature on Google Earth is a great product, whether you're using it to learn about space, or just exploring your celestial neighborhood (or maybe doing both).

If you don't have Google Earth, download here (Mac, Linux, or PC). Learn more about the Sky Feature here, and watch Sally Ride's introduction here. Also, you can get a quick introduction to the feature by watching the video below:

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