For all of you backyard and desktop sky watchers Google just announced Google Sky. From the Google Lat Long Blog:
And so I’m delighted to announce the launch of the web version of Google Sky, which turns your browser into a virtual telescope that can zoom and pan across the entire cosmos. You now have several ways to easily explore the universe:
* Powerful search that lets you browse tens of thousands of named objects.
* Three optical sky surveys that show you what your naked eye would see if it had a really good zoom lens. Try switching to infrared, microwave, ultraviolet, or x-ray to see the sky in a completely different light. Or blend between these views to create unique visualizations on the fly.
* Galleries highlighting the best images from Hubble and many other telescopes.
* Current planet positions and constellations.
* Overlays of custom KML content. (Simply paste a Sky KML URL into the search box, just like on Google Maps.)
* Last but not least, the Earth & Sky podcasts gallery is not to be missed, particularly for those who run a classroom.
All of this is accessible from any web browser, on any operating system, with no extra download required.
I haven’t had but a few minutes too work with this but it looks to be quite cool.
However, one of the first things I wanted to do does not appear to be currently available: give it an address and have it present the night sky from that location. I may have missed it so please let me know if you figure out how to do this or something similar with latitude and longitude or….
And, you can zoom beyond the resolution they currently support.