March 14, 2009

Google Mars offering up-to-date images

The U.S. Internet search engine Google says its Google Mars feature began offering up-to-date images of Earth's planetary neighbor Saturday.

An unidentified company spokesman said Google Mars users can view images of the red planet's surface taken by the Themis camera on board the Odyssey spacecraft above Mars, The Daily Telegraph reported.

We are entering uncharted territory, the spokesman said.

The online service also allows users to engage in virtual tours of Mars with the Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Google is also providing users with access to maps of the planet that are more than 100 years old.

The Telegraph said the service has prompted odds makers to increase the probability that life will soon be found on Mars. Google Mars brought the previous 500 to 1 odds down to a mere 50 to 1 chance, the British newspaper said.