Stargazing in Pittsburgh
Stargazing in Pittsburgh: “Humans have always been fascinated by the night sky. And Googlers are no exception. Over the years, Google engineers have used their 20 percent time to create Google Sky, Moon, Mars and most recently Google Sky Map for Android. This handy app, built by engineers in our Pittsburgh office, turns your Android-powered phone into a live map of the night sky. You just point your phone to the sky and it gives you information about the stars and planets that you’re looking at. Since we introduced the app a year ago, Sky Map has been downloaded more than 5 million times.
On Sunday night we had a wonderful opportunity to share our passion for astronomy with our community in Pittsburgh at the Deep Sky Urban Star Party, held in the abandoned swimming pool at Leslie Park in Lawrenceville. We loaded up a bunch of Android phones with Sky Map and joined the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh—who brought along their telescopes—and several hundred local residents for a night of stargazing.
As a Sky Map engineer the biggest thrill I get is when we get emails from people who have used our app to show a planet to their children for the first time. At the Star Party we were delighted to have the chance to show people around the night sky in person. It was great to meet so many people who were both excited by astronomy and interested in Google’s technology. Thanks for all of your ideas for new features, and a big thank you to the Leslie Park Pool Collective and all involved for organizing such a fun event.
Photos by Jason Parker-Burlingham
Posted by John Taylor, Software Engineer