Oct 23, 2007 – The heavens are only a few mouse clicks away with Google’s latest free tool: A new feature in Google Earth, the company’s satellite imagery-based mapping software, allows users to view the sky from their computers. The tool provides information about various celestial bodies, from stars to planets, and includes imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope and other sources. It also allows users to take virtual tours through galaxies, including the Milky Way. “By working with some of the industry’s leading experts, we’ve been able to transform Google Earth into a virtual telescope,” said Lior Ron, a Google product manager. The new software also promises users the ability to see planets in motion and witness a supernova explosion. Current Google Earth users must download a new version. The software works on computers running Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. Google, the leading internet search engine, already provides surface images of Mars and the Moon through its web site, along with animated and satellite-based maps of Earth.
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