Fly Through The Universe With '100,000 Suns' For Google Chrome

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A new interactive map can take you from the wastes of inter-galactic space to our home Solar System in one click.

The fully 3D '100,000 Stars' runs on Google Chrome, and provides a remarkable new perspective on the local corner of our galaxy.

Users are able to pull and twist the map to get an accurate sense of the location and position of nearby stars, and the scale of the distance between them.

It was built by "some space enthusiasts at Google" - though they warn that scientific accuracy is limited and request that you "do not use this visualization for interstellar navigation."

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Above: The stars closest to our own Sun, in beautiful 3D

At its 'longest' zoom from our planet, the map shows the galaxy's 400 billion stars arranged about the central, glowing disc at the Milky Way's heart.

As you drag your mouse to zoom-in, the location of our local area in the western spiral arm becomes clear, as do the 100,000 stars closest to us.

More than 60 stars in the map can be clicked for more information about their composition and age, with data from the European Space Agency, Nasa and others.

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The map has been picked up recently by the Daily Mail and other sites, though it's not clear how recently it was uploaded.

"100,000 Stars is an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood created for the Google Chrome web browser. It shows the location of 119,617 nearby stars derived from multiple sources, including the 1989 Hipparcos mission. Zooming in reveals 87 individually identified stars and our solar system. The galaxy view is an artist's rendition based on NGC 1232, a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way."

Sam Hulick, who created the music for the Mass Effect series of video games, created the soundtrack for the tool, which is similar - but separate - to the older 'Google Sky' addition to Google Earth.

Also on The Huffington Post

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