googleearth-sky.bmpGoogle releases a new product within Google Earth today called Sky that will allow users to view the skies, along with stars, as seen from Earth.

There’s a demo here.

The New York Times has a review here.

Sky will let users fly around and zoom in, exposing increasingly detailed imagery of some 100 million stars and 200 million galaxies…Sky already has layers showing various constellations, a user’s guide to galaxies, the position of planets two months into the future and animations of lunar positions.

Microsoft has a research project that offers something similar, called World Wide Telescope (more here). Jim Gray, the Microsoft researcher who once led the project, disappeared earlier this year after a sailing trip off San Francisco Bay.

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