Ready for a mind-blowing trip? Google‘s got you covered with its “100,000 Stars” Chrome experiment, visualizing our stellar neighborhood in a way you’ve never seen.
Using either your mouse or a trackpad, “100,000 Stars” lets you fly around in a sophisticated 3D graphic of our galaxy, taking a close look at the stars that are relatively close to Earth. Try zooming way out, where you can peer at the edge of the Milky Way, and see if it makes you feel like we did, finding ourselves wishing we could zoom out even farther.
Or you can click the “take a tour” button on the upper left to be swept away to the most interesting stars in our galaxy, or click on a star to get more info. And don’t miss the variety of views you can get, showing you the actual density of the stars in our galaxy. It’s spectacular.
Beyond its value as a fascinating toy, “100,000 Stars” is a demo of current web technology. It shows you 3D graphics and plays music by Mass Effect composer Sam Hulick. It accomplishes this magic using an alphabet soup of cool browser tech, including WebGL, CSS3D and Web Audio. And, you don’t need to be using the Chrome browser either. We noticed it works just as well in Firefox...
As Adam Koblim reminds us on the Google Chrome blog, the "mist of 100,000 measurable stars is a tiny fraction of the sextillions of stars in the broader universe."
Dude. Just check it out.
P.S.: If you don't use the Chrome browser, I'd highly recommend it. It's Google's free, high performance browser that can be downloaded in a jiffy.