Google Sky

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Google Sky
Google Sky logo white background.png
Type of site
Web mapping
Available in English
Owner Google
Registration Yes, with Google Account
Launched August 27, 2007; 9 years ago (2007-08-27)
Current status Active

Google Sky is a feature for Google Earth and an online sky/outer space viewer. It was created on August 27, 2007.[1] The application allows users to view a collaboration of images from NASA satellites, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Hubble Telescope.[2]

It is available on Android and can be used on a smartphone as an augmented reality application.

Google Earth version[edit]

The first Google Sky version to be created was on the virtual globe 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. As with other planetarium programs, it is viewed from the inside looking out from the center. It is facing competition from Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope.[3]


External links[edit]

Google also runs a browser-based version of Sky, which was created in response to the popularity of the Google Earth application.[4] 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.[5]

Features include:

  • Search (now disabled)
  • 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.

Sky Map[edit]

Sky Map is an Android implementation of Google Sky. On January 20, 2012, Google announced a student development partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and released Sky Map under the Apache 2.0 open source license.[6] The project is available in the form of a Google Code repository.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Julia Layton; Jonathan Strickland; Charles W. Bryant. "How Google Earth Works". How Stuff Works. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ Daniel Terdiman (October 15, 2010). "Google Sky, Slooh bringing users live astronomy". CNET Networks. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kevin McLaughlin (May 13, 2008). "Microsoft's Online Telescope Blasts Google Out Of The Sky". CRN Magazine. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ Elinor Mills (March 13, 2008). "Viewing Google Sky through a browser". CNET Networks. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ Thomas Claburn (March 13, 2008). "Google Sky Rises Above Google Earth". InformationWeek. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ Taylor, John; Kevin Serafini (2012-01-20). "Open-sourcing Sky Map and collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University". Research @ Google. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  7. ^ "stardroid". Google Code. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 

External links[edit]