As Douglas Adams wrote, “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Well now you can explore some of it through the wonders of internetery and the enthusiasm of some star-gazers at Google, who’ve created 100,000 Stars, a virtual tour through just a little bit of the universe, where there are far more than 100,000 stars; nobody knows how many, but it’s a mind-bogglingly huge number. Anyhow, go explore, while listening to a soundtrack from videogame score composer Sam Hulick.
Don your space suit, then click here for your space odyssey. You can zoom in and out, so you’re in partial control of where you go, but be warned: “Scientific accuracy is not guaranteed. Please do not use this visualization for interstellar navigation.” Click on the question mark in the bottom right hand corner for instructions, which begin,
100,000 Stars is an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood created for the Google Chrome web browser. It shows the location of 119,617 nearby stars derived from multiple sources, including the 1989 Hipparcos mission. Zooming in reveals 87 individually identified stars and our solar system. The galaxy view is an artist’s rendition based on NGC 1232, a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.