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    1. #1
      FBI agent Ynot's Avatar
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      Google announces enhancement to Google Earth

      Google announces enhancement to Google Earth
      Google Sky

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6955787.stm

      The constellations of Andromeda, Hydra and Vulpecula are now just a mouse click away for amateur star-gazers, following the launch of Google Sky.

      The tool is an add-on to Google Earth, a program that allows users to search a 3D rendition of our planet's surface.

      Sky will allow astronomers a chance to glide through images of more than one million stars and 200 million galaxies.

      Optional layers allow users to explore images from the Hubble Space Telescope as well as animations of lunar cycles.

      "The basic idea is to take Google Earth and turn it on its head," Ed Parsons, Geospatial technologist at Google told the BBC News website.

      "So rather than using it to view imagery of the Earth, use it to view imagery of space."

      Dr John Mason of the British Astronomical Association, Britain's largest body for amateur astronomers said: "Light pollution and air pollution is now so bad in many areas that all you can see when you look up is a few dozen stars.

      "If this helps people to realise just what they are missing, it is a jolly good thing."

      Clear view

      To use the new system, users will need to have Google Earth installed on their computer.

      Digital astronomers can then zoom into an area from which they want to view the night sky.

      "Click a button and the world flips round and you see the sky from that particular location," explained Mr Parsons. "[The view] would be the constellations that you would see oriented in the sky on that particular day at that particular time."

      Users can overlay the night sky with other information such as galaxies, constellations and detailed images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

      Imagery for the system came from six research institutions including the Digital Sky Survey Consortium, the Palomar Observatory in California and the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre.

      Much of the imagery can be found through searches on the internet but Google hope the add-on will be simpler and more fun.

      Mr Parsons said: "The sky you will be seeing will be a completely clear and you will be able to see objects which are very faint indeed - that you can only see with very large telescopes."

      Virtual tour

      Sky is not the first time Google has ventured into space.

      In March 2006, the company launched Google Mars which allows users to explore the surface of the Red Planet.

      Another service, Google Moon, lets users view the sites of the Apollo moon landings.

      Both services use data from the US Space Agency Nasa, with which Google signed an agreement in December 2006.

      The Space Agreement Act was intended to put "the most useful of Nasa's information on the internet".

      At the time, Nasa administrator Michael Griffin said the agreement would soon allow "every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars".

      The two organisations also said they would collaborate in a variety of areas including adding data collected by Nasa to Google Earth.

      However, Mr Parsons said the latest tool was not a product of the partnership.

      Mass market

      Google Sky is not the only tool that allows astronomers to explore the night sky from their computer.

      For example, Stellarium is a free open source tool that gives people a chance to access more than 210 million stars, in addition to planets and moons.

      The software is the brainchild of Fabien Chereau, a Research Engineer at the Paris Astronomical Observatory, and is used in many planetariums.

      Like the suite of Google applications, it allows people to explore places of interest on Earth, as well as mission sites on the Moon and Mars.

      Commercial alternatives also exist, such as Imaginova's Starry Night, that offers a range of software packages aimed at beginners to "the serious astronomer".

      Apple Mac users can download a Starry Night widget that will allow them to see the night sky from any location on Earth.

      "The other astronomy packages are designed for maybe the more professional amateur market," said Mr Parsons. "We are aiming this more at the mass market. If people get hooked and interested they may migrate to these other packages."
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    2. #2
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      Thats pretty cool! Give it another million years or something and it'll be google universe lol, live video feed


    3. #3
      Haha. Hehe. Mes Tarrant's Avatar
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      Holy crap! What will they think of next. That is very cool. Seems like a very large program to download though.

    4. #4
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      This is awesome.

    5. #5
      Anas platyrhynchos Achievements:
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      Groovey! This sounds cool. Thanks for the let-know Ynot

    6. #6
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      I just upgraded and checked it out. Quite impressive.

    7. #7
      !DIREKTOR! Adam's Avatar
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      That looks pretty awesome

    8. #8
      TPV ThePhobiaViewed's Avatar
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      I'm hoping this will help me out with astronomy because I have an 8-inch scope and can't for the life of me find M81 and M82. Maybe it's too bright where I'm at. Idk but those sly people at Google keep doing it. I especially like the ads they put in magazines with crazy complicated logic and math problems and if you apply with the right answers then your applications goes to the top of the stack. I'm planning on using this new program quite a bit. Either way, my brother is majoring in astonomy and physics so maybe he can point out some of these dang galaxies and nebulas for me.

    9. #9
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Sweet! Is it a free upgrade? The only link I can find wants $20 to upgrade to "Plus". Does anyone have the link to the free upgrade, if there is one?

    10. #10
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      It comes with free google earth upgrades; so if you have the latest version you should see the "switch to sky" option at the top of the screen where "print" is.

      In any case if you are in doubt just download the free version of google earth again.

    11. #11
      - Neruo's Avatar
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      Shit. I am certainly going to look into that. Would be pretty cool to look around the freaking sky ^___^
      “What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call 'thought'” -Hume

    12. #12
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Never View Post
      It comes with free google earth upgrades; so if you have the latest version you should see the "switch to sky" option at the top of the screen where "print" is.

      In any case if you are in doubt just download the free version of google earth again.
      I just downloaded Google Earth again probably 2 weeks ago, so I would think it should be current.

      When I opened the program just now, a startup tip came up about Google Sky. It said to click View > Switch to Sky. But When I go to View, there is no such option...

    13. #13
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      Is there a little icon up top there next to the print icon? It should be to the extreme right.

    14. #14
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Nope, to the right of the print icon is a View in Google Maps icon, and that's it.

    15. #15
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      Yeah, I would just download it again in that case. The last upgrade may have been very recent. This was my first upgrade in a year so I am not sure.

    16. #16
      Member Bonsay's Avatar
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      Well the link does say that the sky enhancement has been released recently. The article has todays date.

      I downloaded it and it works fine.
      Googly link
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    17. #17
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Do I have to delete/uninstall my other Google Earth first, or will it just overwrite it if I download it again?

    18. #18
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      It should overwrite, because the upgrade button takes you to the same screen anyhow.

    19. #19
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Alright cool, well I downloaded the new one and I have the Sky icon now... but I keep getting an error message about it being "unable to stream" and "Fetch of screen overlay failed", then I have to either Stop, Continue or Ignore, and a big red X box shows up where the world map would be... any idea what this means?

      sorry for all the technical problems

    20. #20
      Member Bonsay's Avatar
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      I'm no expert with computers or anything like that. But perhaps it has something to do with the internet connection. Do you have some firewall which might block "ze stream"?

      When you scroll around in the sky thingy it says "streaming [growing numbers]%" while the sky is filled up with higher definition pictures. Could it be the internet connection?
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    21. #21
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bonsay View Post
      I'm no expert with computers or anything like that. But perhaps it has something to do with the internet connection. Do you have some firewall which might block "ze stream"?

      When you scroll around in the sky thingy it says "streaming [growing numbers]%" while the sky is filled up with higher definition pictures. Could it be the internet connection?
      hmm, I suppose it could be... but I didn't have an issue earlier today with streaming before I downloaded the new version, so I don't think it would be a connection issue...

      Here are the error messages:

      http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...Untitled-2.jpg
      http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...=Untitled2.jpg

    22. #22
      Member Bonsay's Avatar
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      I really don't know. I'd reinstall it just in case there was something wrong there. Did you delete the previous version or just overwrite it?
      C:\Documents and Settings\Akul\My Documents\My Pictures\Sig.gif

    23. #23
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      I overwrote it. Maybe I'll just delete this one altogether and re-download it from scratch.

      Thanks for your help!

    24. #24
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      Fetch errors. I googled them and it seems a pretty common problem when loading images that are not properly formatted. Not sure why it does it in this case though. The upgrade is so recent that I can't find anything on it. In the end try just deleting google earth and then reinstalling as bonsay said.

    25. #25
      Dream Driver Conforming Non-Conformist's Avatar
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      What is wrong with telescopes?
      Being cannot change
      Life is a constant reaction
      I am a human becoming

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