Thursday, August 23, 2007

My God, It's Full of Stars

Those folks at Google are at it again, and they obviously know something we don't. I'm not sure what it was that started to make me suspicious. Was it the innovative lateral thinking that has made them the premier Web 2.0 company? The green blood and penchant for eating whole, live rats? Finally though, the smoking gun.

Google Headquarters. A couple of arcseconds from the California Nebula in the Constellation of Perseus. It's about a thousand light years from Earth.

This, courtesy of the latest coolness from the Google Earth application. The latest version (4.2) allows you to swing 180˚ from any location on Earth and explore the heavens.
It's insanely great. My favourites: The Sombrero Galaxy (NGC4594) and the Antennae Galaxies. Ah, how they make me pine for the triple sunsets and purple grass of home... but I digress.

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords from the planet Googalia. If I keep them fed, they may spare me.

Addendum: It's worse than we feared. There it is, just near the twist in the tail of Scorpius. A Borg Cube, face on and heading for sector zero-zero-one.


Monkeytree said...

Yes, I've had a bit of a play with this, and it's brilliant. Nice to be able to zoom in to the distant galaxies. My only wish is that there was a "natural" view of the sky, since the google sky is smudged with all sorts of colours and objects that are not normally visible. This is the sort of educational tool that makes learning fun and easy (equally true for the normal google earth mode)

Monkeytree said...

Another diverting nugget: pressing ctrl+shift+a causes google earth to go into a flight sim mode.