Google Earth is a brilliant way to travel around the world without leaving your desktop. And Google recently introduced a new feature to Google Earth, Google Sky, which lets you travel the far reaches of the universe, often in startling and beautiful clarity.

From nebulae and galaxies to stars and comets, we've collected just a few of the breathtaking and spectacular sights in Google Sky.

See also: Google Sky review

High-resolution images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Digital Sky Survey Consortium give you incredible close-ups from deep space.

To get started on your own outer-space adventure, download the most recent version of Google Earth software. Launch the application, go to the View menu, and select Switch to Sky.

To fly to each of the destinations we spotlight, copy the astrological identifier (we've placed them in parentheses) and paste it into Google Sky's 'Search the Sky' box. Ready to blast off?