Mountain View (CA) – Google is has begun offering Sky, which made its debut in August of last year as part of Earth 4.2, as an application that can be displayed by regular web browsers. Most of the functionality has been ported, including a search that, according to Google, covers 100 million stars and 200 million galaxies.
The new application is a result of Google’s Code Jam, in which the company challenges developers to quickly solve programming challenges. The finalist of the Latin America Code Jam was asked to create a web version of Google Sky during a 3-month internship this winter. The result has been made available in 26 languages to the public yesterday.
The application works just like Google’s Maps service and allows users to search for planets and galaxies and view images taken by the Hubble telescope. Also integrated are earth and sky podcasts as well as infrared, microwave overlays as well as historic images of respective portions of the sky. A feature that has not been transferred from Google Earth’s Sky version is the tracking ability of planets over time.
Google said that Google Earth has been downloaded more than 350 million times so far.