View the Heavens With Google Searches

For some time now I have been using a particular technique to search the web for pictures of astronomical and planetary objects. That technique relies on the ability to limit searches to specific domains. I also make use of the ability to specify the size of the images I am searching for because I don't want to see every thumbnail, banner ad, and site logo out there – I am only interested in full size images.

As an example, let's say that I want to search for any picture that Google associates with the search term “Mars”. Here's what to do.

  1. Go to the Google Advanced Image Search page.
  2. In the Find results section, for the option related to all of the words box, enter the word “Mars” without the quotes
  3. For Size, click the drop-down arrow for the box and select “large”
  4. For Domain, let's limit the search to the Mars Art Gallery so enter the domain name “” without the quotes.
  5. Click the Google Search button to execute the search and see the results.

That's all there is to it. Some of my favorite search terms are nebula, galaxy, planet, exoplanet, messier, and supernova.

Taking a look at the Google Search Box you will see that the search term is:

It should be apparent that to switch to a different site, all you need to do is replace the domain name component so if you want to you can skip using the Advanced Image Search by entering the search term directly. Some of my favorite domains to site search on are (including the site keyword):

And don't forget to make sure that you have the large image option selected.

For a final suggestion, if you want to see all the images available on a site, you can do each of the following searches in sequence:
Note that you can search on only one image file extension at a time, otherwise it does not work.

Happy Searching.

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Monday, June 25th, 2007 at 11:25 am and is filed under Astronomy.