I've been viewing Google Sky, which is quite amazing, and came across a rather expansive rectangle where no stars are visible at 22h13m04.44s 4°59'29.49" (see image below). My only thought is that there's probably a satellite or something up there that Google is required to hide. Any thoughts on what this is?

enter image description here


This is a known issue affecting multiple locations in Google Sky, including a region in Orion and this area in Pegasus. If you look closely at the interface, you can see that Google Sky gets its data from preexisting surveys, including the Digitized Sky Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey - Google doesn't operate its own fleet of telescopes (at least not yet), so it uses existing archival data. You can query the DSS online.

Here's what I see when I look at the region in question on Google Sky:

Image from Google Sky of affected region

Now here's what I see when I look at the same region with DSS-1 data:

Image from DSS-1 of affected region

The blank spot is now filled with the field of stars, as expected.

If you want, you can do the same thing with the other DSS and SDSS datasets. I wasn't able to find any blank spots in the raw images, meaning that this is presumably an issue on Google's end, not an indicator of the presence of some object that needed to be hidden.

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