Explore the Stars with Google Sky

By: Becky Worley, ABC News
By: Becky Worley, ABC News

For all those amateur astronomers, there's a new computer program that opens a window to the heavens.

It's called "Google Sky" and it's just a mouseclick away.

100 million galaxies and 200 million stars--armchair explorers get ready. Starting Aug. 22, anyone with a computer will now have the entire universe at their fingertips thanks to Google's latest venture.

It's called Sky and it's a new free feature in the popular Google Earth program.

"This is an application that allows you to see the sky at very, very high resolution as if you were just flying through the universe and seeing and visiting galaxies," explained Google Product Manager Chikai Ohazama.

This is no ordinary astronomy website.

Ohazama has worked to gather data from astronomical organizations around the world. Google has basically stitched together real photographs of the universe into one giant database..

"Basically you're seeing imagery that you have to have a very, very high powered telescope to look at and we're placing that in the database. You can zoom in very, very close and see the actual spiral, a galaxy and the clusters around it," Ohazama continued.

Google already allows users to see this planet at a level of detail many spy agencies would envy.

Satellite and street level imagery so advanced it's generated alarm from privacy advocates, but Google Sky should have none of the same issues.

One of the unique features in Google Sky? Plug in your address and the program shows you what the sky above your home looks like.

You can bookmark constellations, rotate the whole sky, and zoom in to see details of black holes and stars that truly bring astronomy to life.

It's pretty daunting to see how much stuff is out there . Plus, it's a whole new way to waste time at your desk.

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