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Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Introducing Sky in Google Earth

Google today announced the launch of Sky, a new feature that enables users of Google Earth to view the sky as seen from planet Earth.

Sky is a "virtual telescope" that the search engine hopes will turn millions of Internet users into stargazers.

Google , which created Google Earth to give Internet users an astronaut's view that can zoom to street level, said the service would be a playground for learning about space.

Like Google Earth, Sky will enable users to float and zoom in on over 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies. Users will view the sky as seen from earth.

It has created different layers which will show the life of a star, constellations, high-resolution images provided by the Hubble Space Telescope and a users guide to galaxies.

A backyard astronomy layer lets users click through stars, galaxies and nebulae visible to the eye, binoculars and small telescopes.

The imagery was stitched together from numerous third parties including the Digital Sky Survey Consortium, the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre and the Anglo-Australian Observatory. The imagery will be updated over time.

"We're excited to provide users with rich astronomical imagery and enhanced content that enables them to both learn about what they're seeing and tell their own stories," said Google Product Manager Lior Ron in a statement.

The Sky service will be available on all Google Earth domains, in 13 languages from later on Wednesday. Users will need to download the newest version of Google Earth which can be found at www.earth.google.com

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