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Podcast: Zooming Through the Universe

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • February 17, 2009
  • Comments Off on Podcast: Zooming Through the Universe

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Have you ever wondered where Google Sky gets the data that lets you pan and zoom your way around the cosmos? Much of it comes from NASA’s SkyView Virtual Observatory, a database of astronomy data from a variety of different sources. Google Sky and WorldWide Telescope are two sites that access the database for users, but anyone can use SkyView directly with just a web browser! It’s like having a powerful – and versatile – telescope at your fingertips, ready to show you whatever you’d like to see in the Universe.

We interviewed Tom McGlynn, the creator of SkyView, about what this powerful virtual telescope can do and how people are using it. Hunt for near-Earth asteroids, research a homework assignment, check out multiwavelength data… or just play!



NASA and other organizations have a lot of eyes on the sky, capturing data constantly about the Universe. Decades of research have generated a very large collection of data about the observable Universe – both near the Earth and very distant regions – in different wavelengths and resolutions. SkyView is a tool created by NASA to make this data easily accessible to any user through a website. You just tell the site what you’d like to look at, make a few choices about how you’d like to see it, and go! It’s like having your own personal online telescope. To try out SkyView and learn more, visit:



Host Maggie Masetti
Editors Maggie Masetti
Sara Mitchell
Interviewer Anita Krishnamurthi
Guest Tom McGlynn
Theme Music Naked Singularity
Transcript Eric Winter
Website Support Meredith Gibb
Maggie Masetti
Producer Sara Mitchell
Executive Producer Anita Krishnamurthi
Responsible NASA Official Kim Weaver

The above featured image is an image actually taken via SkyView. It is this one.

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