Google+ Documentary about the Virtual Star Parties

27 Jun , 2012

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Video

As you probably know, we’ve been holding Virtual Star Parties every Sunday night, where we pull together live feeds from multiple telescopes around the world and broadcast them into a live Google+ hangout. We’ve done dozens of them now, showcasing the Moon, many of the planets, and so many deep sky objects. The response of this has been overwhelming, helping people without telescopes or terrible weather a chance to see the night sky from the comfort of their home.

We’ve held special events, broadcasting the recent solar eclipse and transit of Venus right into a Google+ Hangout. During the 6-hour marathon transit of Venus, we had almost 7,000 people joining us live.

What you didn’t know was that Google was secretly creating a documentary featuring the Virtual Star Party team. A camera crew from Google flew out to North Carolina to film +Mike Phillips, to Edwardsville to meet with +Dr. Pamela Gay, here to capture me and the family on Vancouver Island and then down to Los Angeles to meet with +Gary Gonella.

The final version of this documentary was released at the big Google I/O keynote address in San Francisco on June 27, 2012. And seriously, they did an amazing job. A huge thanks to everyone at Google+ for providing this platform to give us this ability and thanks to +Jessica Brillhart and +Owen Katz for dedicating so much time to producing this documentary. If you still think Google+ is a ghost town, I hope this will help you realize it’s one of the most vibrant social networks happening on the internet right now.

We hold these Virtual Star Parties every Sunday night, once it gets dark on the West Coast of North America (9pm Pacific in the summer). If want to watch it live, just circle +Fraser Cain on Google+, or circle the +Virtual Star Party page. Then you’ll see the hangout when it happens in the stream.


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Alex Howlett
Guest
June 27, 2012 10:02 PM

Awesome!

RapidEye
Member
June 28, 2012 12:08 AM

Great job guys – all of your hard work getting recognized and rewarded!!!

outerspaceguy
Member
outerspaceguy
June 28, 2012 12:14 AM

nice!

Aqua4U
Member
June 28, 2012 3:42 AM

WAY double extra groovy cool you guys! Thanks for all the effort.. I know it must be difficult to co-ordinate these events… so I want you to know that it is appreciated! Thanks to all of you.

Clear skies!

Stefan Lamoureux
Guest
Stefan Lamoureux
June 28, 2012 9:01 AM

This is awesome! Just awesome! keep up the good work, I was and will be there for the next virtual star party!

notovny
Guest
notovny
June 28, 2012 11:23 AM

Way to go, “Frank”!

Guido Bibra
Guest
Guido Bibra
June 28, 2012 12:03 PM
I’ve posted something similar on the Bad Astronomy blog last night and just saw that there’s an article here as well. I’m the lone guy who tried to watch the Venus transit hangout a while ago and discovered that Youtube livestreams were completely blocked here in Germany. But first of all, it’s an absolutely wonderful and awe-inspiring video. Yay for technology, science and clever people! But there’s a huge downside… If you look on a map of Europe, there’s a giant black hole in the middle, where the reception of livestreams from Youtube is impossible. It’s Germany! Our silly government wants to fine everybody €500.000 who makes a public television broadcast without a license, and they think Youtube… Read more »
Ciru
Guest
Ciru
June 28, 2012 12:20 PM

Really cool, great to see google acknowledge the amazing stuff you’re doing with their software.

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