A trip through space with a Google experiment

A trip through space with a Google experiment

Earlier this month Google released a Chrome experiment to take you on a trip through space. It gives you the opportunity to view our stellar neighbourhood in a way you've never seen before.

Using either your mouse or track-pad, the experiment allows you to seemingly "fly" through an incredible 3D graphic of our galaxy, taking a close look at stars that are both near and far. If you start close in on Earth and zoom out all the way to the edge of the Milky Way it'll leave you feeling minute, but utterly astounded.

Not only does this experiment impress by giving you the ability to explore our galaxy, it also pushes the boundaries of what we can achieve in browsers with current technology. The experiment makes excellent use of WebGL for rendering and accelerated usage of physics and image processing, CSS3D for creating 2D elements in a 3D space, and finally Web Audio for playing composer Sam Hulick's Mass Effect soundtrack.

In the Google Chrome blog, Aaron Koblin wrote, "As you explore this experiment, we hope you share our wonder for how large the galaxy really is. 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."

Although this is a Google Chrome experiment, it's been reported to work on FireFox too.

Here's the link for you to take your own trip through our galaxy. Go on, be an astronaut for a few seconds, you'll be astounded...