Wikisky – Fun with Stars

My Dad is an avid astronomer. In fact I grew up with a planetarium and observatory in the back yard complete with high power telescope. Dad still has the observatory and telescope, but had to give up the planetarium when he and Mom moved a number of years ago. I have great memories of looking up through Dad’s telescope as a child at the craters of the moon or the rings of Saturn or far away star clusters in the sky. My only regret is that I did not spend more time using this incredible resource in my own back yard.

Wikisky Browser

So I was excited to see this neat online site called Wikisky. This is like a Google Earth for outer space. It looks like an updated version of an old software program I used to have for the kids but has now been made available online. You can pan across the night sky, zoom in on different objects, or view the stars above a given location at a certain time. You can turn on constellation overlays or hover over a particular star to get information such as name, distance, magnitude and constellation. You can even switch from normal browsing mode to SDSS mode (Sloan Digital Sky Survey) to see actual photographs of the sky while you browse.

If you have any interest in astronomy I encourage you to check this site out. Parents, this is a great site for your kids, too.

HT: Lifehacker

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The WorldWide Telescope at Ray Fowler .org

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