February 12, 2013
Google Earth Mars: Seeing The Universe One Planet At A Time
Rayshell Clapper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Did you know now anyone with Google Earth access — either via smartphone app or the website — can now check out Mars as well? That´s right: Google Earth has gone interplanetary. It now has an even better Google Earth Mars option. According to Daily Mail Online, users can view the planet´s surface in greater detail than ever before because of the high resolution images from NASA that are now being used by Google.These high-definition images will help anyone with Martian envy to see and virtually experience Earth´s favorite neighbor. Before we know it, Google Earth will have a completely separate Google Mars beta. Maybe there will be a Google Universe eventually. Wouldn´t that be cool?
As if the Google Earth Mars addition was not cool enough, people can also catch a virtual ride to the Moon and tour Earth´s Moon in the palm of their hands or with just a click of the mouse. In order to do so, Google explains to follow these simple directions:
To view imagery and terrain of Mars and the Moon, click the image that looks like a planet and choose “Mars/Moon.” You can navigate and explore just as you would on Earth. To return to a view of Earth, click that same image that looks like a planet and choose Earth.
By clicking on the planet image, viewers can also view images of the sky focusing on stars and constellations. This option is a really neat way to view the sky and better understand when and where the constellations can be located.
This author went and checked out both Google Earth Mars and the Sky. It was so cool to virtually float around Mars and see images captured by NASA´s Curiosity rover. Since I will likely never go to Mars, this was the next best thing. Though Google Earth has allowed viewers to roam Mars for a few years, the addition of images from NASA´s Curiosity has really made the visuals pop.
As one who has long loved gazing at the constellations and learning about their placement in the sky, Google Sky was a thrilling experience — and it was chock-full of additional information about the science and history of the constellations.
Beyond the sheer visual experience, what this author really liked about Google Earth Mars as well as Google Earth Moon and Sky are all of the other options like guided tours, traveler´s guides of information, 3D buildings, weather and even global awareness. This Google tool is so much more than just a digital view of the universe that stares down at us every night — it is also a valuable interactive and educational tool.
Google Earth´s additions of Google Earth Mars, Sky and Moon truly add a new dimension to seeing the world and the universe. I look forward to what comes next in Google Earth. Until then, however, I think I will go see what´s happening on Olympus Mons.