By Ellie Zolfagharifard
"If you ever need a reminder of just how tiny we are relative to the universe, then take a look at this. The interactive Google map called ‘100,000 Stars’, provides a spectacular fly-through of our galaxy. Taking users on an inspiring journey, it reveals, in incredible graphic detail, the vast distances which lie between our home and alien planets. Zooming out provides a dizzying look at the galactic plane and the Milky Way, which is home up to 400 billion stars - the hottest on the map shown in blue. Zooming all the way in to our sun gives a glimpse of some of the 100,000 stars relatively close to Earth,
Meanwhile, using imagery and data from a range of sources, including Nasa and the European Space Agency (ESA), the map plots the location of the stars closest to our sun. Clicking each name on over 60 of the most prominent named stars will provide more information about it along with a digital rendition. The interactive map also lets you click on a ‘take a tour’ button for a look at what's surrounding us. Voyager is shown as the furthest man-made object to enter interstellar space. First launched in 1977, the unmanned spacecraft has been in uncharted territory since last year.
Beyond the spectacular views, is a demonstration shows off what advanced web technology can do in Google Chrome. The music is provided by Sam Hulick, who video game fans may recognise as a composer for the popular space adventure series, Mass Effect. ‘As you explore this experiment, we hope you share our wonder for how large the galaxy really is,’ said Aaron Koblin of Creative Lab. ‘It’s incredible to think that this mist of 100,000 measurable stars is a tiny fraction of the sextillions of stars in the broader universe.’ Google has previously launched maps of the surface of Mars and the Moon."