Visit Mars with The Googles

MER Opportunities waypoints around Victoria Crater

MER Opportunity's waypoints around Victoria Crater

Wow!

That was about all I could say after reading the online buzz about the new Mars mode in Google Earth 5.0. I couldn’t wait to get home from the day job and get my hands on the update myself.

For you Google Earth users, you can now visit, fly over, zoom in, and explore our red planetary neighbor in all of its glory! The image and telemetry data was provided by the many exploration initiatives NASA and ESA have going on right now and in the past, including MRO, MER, MGS, and Mars Express.

I’m still exploring and playing with the new interface, so here is a write up to a more extensive overview. At the top is my first screenshot of where the MER Opportunity spent much of its time recently. At the end of this post are more of my screenshots from the new GE interface.

Back in 2006, NASA and Google agreed to partner with each other in helping to disseminate planetary data via the Space Act Agreement. This new feature built into GE (and a damn BIG feature it is!) is just the first in what this new partnership dares to bring to planetary scientist wannabes like myself. I can’t wait until more juicy chunks of data are made so readily available to the masses.

If you have not had the opportunity to use Google Earth at all, you now have one more reason to hit the download site and get it for yourself. Go NASA and go The Googles!

The Big 4 volcanoes using terrain data from MGS

The Big 4 volcanoes using terrain data from MGS

Valles Marineris in an edge on view using Mars Express data

Valles Marineris in an edge on view using Mars Express data

Spirit near its current resting place near Home Plate

3D model of Spirit at its current resting place near Home Plate

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About Geordi Calrissian

African American? Check. Nerd cred? Check. Star Trek? Check. Star Wars? Check. What else is there?

Posted on February 2, 2009, in space and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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