Visit outer space with Google

If you haven't yet downloaded the Chrome web browser, then it's worth doing so now just to play with this amazing demo showcasing just what's possible with WebGL technology.

You'll need a graphics card that supports WebGL, so the demo will probably only work on your desktop computer, not your smartphone

An interactive 3D map of the 100,000 stars closest to our sun, this Chrome Experiment enables you to explore the universe by zooming in and out of the Milky Way galaxy - and learn about it along the way.

Click on the name of a star and...

The names of the most prominent stars appear as you close in on them, and when you click on the name, information about it is pulled from Wikipedia, as well as a rendition of what it looks like up close.

... you can get up close and personal!

The demo, which utilises WebGL, CSS3D and Web Audio, was created by the Google Data Arts Team, using imagery and data from sources including NASA and the European Space Agency.

The chilled soundtrack is provided by Sam Hulick, who also wrote the music for the game Mass Effect.

The demo is easy to use, but it's worth taking the tour just for the fascinating annotations

The demo is easy to navigate, using the scrolling device on the right hand side of the page, plus there's a 'Take the Tour' button on the left hand side to show you some highlights, which are accompanied by some fascinating annotations.

If you've got work to do, we recommend you do it later. Try this astonishing demo now!

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Have you seen any great WebGL experiments? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!