- Powerful search that lets you browse tens of thousands of named objects.
- Three optical sky surveys that show you what your naked eye would see if it had a really good zoom lens. Try switching to infrared, microwave, ultraviolet, or x-ray to see the sky in a completely different light. Or blend between these views to create unique visualizations on the fly.
- Galleries highlighting the best images from Hubble and many other telescopes.
- Current planet positions and constellations.
- Overlays of custom KML content. (Simply paste a Sky KML URL into the search box, just like on Google Maps.)
- Last but not least, the Earth & Sky podcasts gallery is not to be missed, particularly for those who run a classroom.
This YouTube video describes how to use the new Google Sky (you won't be able to see it in school):
"Explore beyond your world in your browser with Google Sky, Google Mars, and Google Moon. http://sky.google.com, http://mars.google.com, http://moon.google.com"
A second video you should watch is Google Sky and Hubble in which Astronomers Dr. Carol Christian and Dr. Alberto Conti at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore talk about their work with Google programmers to "assemble a tapestry of Hubble images to embed in the desktop planetarium program."
This is a web application - you don't need to download and install anything in your computer. Go to google.com/sky and start exploring. The site works like a combination of Google Search, + Maps, + a photo album overlay.