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Visualizing 100,000 Stars In Chrome 68

An anonymous reader writes "Google has rolled out a new web experiment for Chrome. This one is a visualization of the locations of over 100,000 nearby stars. It pulls data from astrometric databases and catalogs to show accurate relative locations of the stars. You can zoom and pan around the cluster, zoom all the way in to the solar system, or zoom all the way out to see how even this huge number of stars is dwarfed by the rest of the Milky Way. It also has data on a number individual stars in our stellar neighborhood. This web app works best in Chrome (much like their previous one, Jam With Chrome), but I was able to try it in Firefox as well."
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Visualizing 100,000 Stars In Chrome

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...with a headline like that.

  • by phlegmofdiscontent ( 459470 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @05:54PM (#41985207)

    I played around with it a bit, but it seems to be somewhat lacking compared to Celestia, which does many of the same things and more. A couple gripes: Sirius was listed as Alpha Cassiopeiae, though it's Bayer designation is Alpha Canis Majoris. Also, it seems to be lacking nearly all of the red dwarfs that make up the majority of the solar neighborhood. Seriously? No Wolf 359?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @05:56PM (#41985223)

      The Google engineer who developed this lost several descendants at the Battle of Wolf 359 you insensitive clod.

    • Celestia plays fine on my Mesa DRI Intel G33.  On Chrome I get: "Either your graphics card or your browser does not support WebGL".
    • When you try to get your non-science geek friends to understand why you think "space and stuff" is fascinating, it is a lot easier to point them to a web page like this, and have them goof around a but, rather then tell them "Download and install Celestia, it's a lot more accurate". Sometimes in the realm of non-geeks, accessibility trumps accuracy. This is one of the cases where the lack of accuracy don't really hurt that much.
    • And as usual with Google apps, there is no scale on the map :-(
  • And now Elite:Dangerous is gonna do it again - check the Kickstarter campaign (bland fan promo) at

  • Earth is stown only as a dot with a label, zooming in doesn't work. Beh, and I wanted to see how good data they have around my home :p.

  • Of the Chart demo in BeOS.

  • for me at least. Chrome takes way more CPU on my Linux 64-bit machine.

    Also, instructions say use mouse to pan, but mouse rotates--could not find out how to pan, so could never get close to anything but our own neighborhood...

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      Yes, these graphics things, like WebGL always work really well for me in Firefox on Linux at home. Strange enough, even better than on Windows at work.

    • Click on the other stars. That re-centers the map on the star you click.
      • by Ossifer ( 703813 )

        Thanks, that does help. But it only works for a handful of known stars in our neighborhood...

  • Ok I know my computer is definitely sub-par graphic-wise by today standards, but the performance is atrocious.
    And I'm talking about FPW (Frames Per Week) here.
    FPS on the other hand (Fuck Per Second) is rather high though.

    Oh, and the mouse wheel's zoom controls are reversed.

  • Very nice! Congrats Google. Now, for version 2.0, how about we add proper motion [] of the stars along with some gravitational forces so we can see how the whole n-body problem [] plays out. Let us zoon forward and backward in time!

    • Simple put, with out a cluster of computers or GPUs, you don't have the processing power for doing n-body simulations.

  • I tried this out at least a month ago.

    Way cool, yes.

    News, no.

  • Warning: Scientific accuracy is not guaranteed. Please do not use this visualization for interstellar navigation.

  • I never understood why Google Chrome chose to actually compile flash into their engine... until my Mac OSX 10.5 laptop was "depricated". Now it makes sense. There is a lot of money to be had forcing users to upgrade their OS because none of the software works any longer.

    Firefox and Safari work fine and I'm able to download Flash updates, but Chrome no longer works without bugging me to death about Flash being too old. I literally have no choice but to manually enable each and every page every time one lo

    • I don't know about Mac, but on Linux, I can choose with flash plugin chrome should use. Have you checked your chrome://plugins/ page?
  • Just like playing Frontier Elite 2 again...only in a...[ehem]...enhanced edition.

  • Warning: Scientific accuracy is not guaranteed. Please do not use this visualization for interstellar navigation.
  • There has been an app named "What'sUp" on the Blackberry Playbook tablets for more than one year that shows this and far more, allowing you for instance to point the tablet to the sky and show exactly which stars are in that direction at this time.

    It's a classical example of using all the sensors (GPS, gravity and magnetic).

    As far as I remember, nobody kneeled at the time.

    Ah yes, it was not GOOGLE-branded. Sorry, mod me flamebait, quick, before thinking.

    Link to the Blackberry App world: https://appworld.bla []

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.