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Viewing Google Sky through a browser

Google releases a browser version of its Google Sky app so you don't have to download the Google Earth software.

Google unveiled a browser version of its Google Sky application on Thursday for people who don't want to download the Google Earth software.

The browser version allows you to zoom in and out and pan around the celestial bodies, search for planets and galaxies and view the sky through infrared, x-ray, ultraviolet, and microwave views.

There are also galleries of some of the best shots from the Hubble telescope and others. You can also listen to podcasts and look at historical maps of the sky.

The backstory on the app is that it was done by staff engineers and Diego Gavinowich, from Buenos Aires, who was a finalist in Google's Latin America Code Jam and spent the past three months in an internship at the company, according to the official Google Blog.

Several weeks ago Microsoft demonstrated its own virtual telescope software called Worldwide Telescope that will be available for free this spring.

Last month, Google was sued by a former contractor who alleges that the idea for Google Sky was his.

Google Sky now comes in a browser version that lets you browse through various galleries of planets and galaxies and click on spots to get more information. Google
This screenshot shows information about the planet Regulus in the constellation Leo, one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky. Google