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Google Sky Map now has time travel function

November 18, 2010 | 11:07 am

Sky map blog post 1.jpg You’re planning the perfect date – maybe a stroll along the beach, possibly some poetry and sunset action. Before you hit the part with the romantic stargazing, you want to brush up on your constellations to impress your paramour.

Google’s here to help.  Its Sky Map app now allows users – aspiring astronomers and casual viewers alike -- to see what the sky will look like in the future, as well as in the past.

Users can point their smartphones at the sky and plug in a specific date for a shot of where the stars and planets will be hanging out at that point in time. Celestial movements can be tracked using the fast-forward and rewind capabilities, which have various speed settings.

Can’t find the Big Dipper? Use the app to search for it.

Sky Map can only scroll back or forward 100 years, so it can’t pull up images of comets and solar eclipses beyond a 200-year block.

The so-called time travel function is available for free on Android phones running version 1.6 or above.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Google Sky Map

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