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Use Google Sky Maps

Google Sky Maps is a celestial map that shows you objects like stars, constellations, galaxies, planets, or the Earth's moon. To use Google Sky Maps, go to www.google.com/sky.

Search the sky

To search for celestial objects and locations, enter a search term and click Serach. Below are some examples.

  • Crab Nebula
  • Orion
  • NGC 2437
  • 5:34:32.01, 32:00:45.96

Move through the sky

There are two ways to change your view of the sky.

Pan

To pan, or move the map, do one of the following:

  • Drag the view in any direction.
  • To move north, press the up arrow.
  • To move south, press the down arrow.
  • To move east, press the right arrow.
  • To move west, press the left arrow.

Zoom in or out

There are a few ways to zoom in and out of the sky:

  • Press the + or - key.
  • Move your cursor over a place on the map and use the mouse scroll button.
  • Drag the zoom slider up or down.

Tip: To center and zoom in on a place, double click the place.

Note: In the bottom left, you'll see the coordinates of your cursor. These coordinates update as you move the cursor.

See different views

To see different views in Google Sky Maps, go to the top right and choose a view. To stop seeing a view, click it again.

Note: You can use more than one view at a time. 

  • Infrared: See infrared imagery of the current view. To adjust the opacity, move the slider.
  • Microwave: See microwave imagery of the current view. To adjust the opacity, move the slider.
  • Historical: See historical maps of the sky. To adjust the opacity, move the slider. You might get a better view by zooming out.

See collections of imagery

You can see interesting collections of imagery by clicking the thumbnails at the bottom of the page, like Hubble Showcase. To adjust the opacity, move the slider (if available).

Share a link

You can share a link to your current view and post it on a website or give it to others. To share a link, follow the steps below.

  1. In the top left, click Link to this page.
  2. Copy the web address in the address bar.
  3. Paste the address in an email or message field and send it to someone.

Print an image

To print an image, go to the top right and click Print.

Note: You can only print the base imagery, not imagery from views like infrared or historical.

View KML content

After you've created a map, you can view KML-based content. To see KML-based content, enter the URL of your KML file in the search box and click Search.

Note: You can only display one KML file at a time. Currently, placemarks do not appear in Google Sky Maps.

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