Betterhumans: An effort to open the world’s astronomical data to Google-like searches is gaining momentum, thanks largely to a $10 million grant from the US National Science Foundation.

The National Virtual Observatory will gather terabytes of data and make it accessible to both scientists and laypeople through an Internet browser.

The goal is to combine different sources of information to bring together observations from different windows on the universe. This could allow researchers to use data mining and other pattern-recognition practices to better understand features of the cosmos.