NASA pimps Google Mars
Historical maps, 'live' image feeds added
Users of the Martian part of Google Earth will be delighted to hear that it has received enhancements. The new virtual-Mars features include historical maps of the red planet, and up-to-date imagery from spacecraft in orbit above it.
The latest updates were put together in cooperation with NASA's Ames research centre. The space agency is providing "live from Mars" imagery from the THEMIS thermal-imaging camera aboard the Odyssey spacecraft, and from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Historical material includes maps of the planet by old-time astronomers such as Schiaparelli and Lowell. Google has also added in narrated guided tours of Mars to pull all the features together. There are also improved search features to help users locate famed Martian beauty spots such as the Valles Marineris, Olympus Mons etc.
To get access to all the free Mars goodness, simply download or update Google Earth to version 5.0, click on the planet icon in the toolbar section at the top (it actually looks more like Saturn, or some ringed planet anyway) and select "Mars". ®
@ Tom Paine
...speaking of HiRise, which as you say is utterly awesome, they managed to get a picture of Deimos with it, which is today's Astronomy Picture of the Day:
That must have been a fairly impressive bit of manouvering to get the MRO's camera pointed in the right direction at the right time; from orbit, Deimos' motion across the sky must be pretty rapid...
@ Van Becelaere: you are aware, aren't you, that Dejah Thoris is actually some kind of egg-laying marsupial and not a human at all?
Does this mean we can
catch Dejah Thoris sunbathing?
It'll be interesting to see ...
the progress of Martian urban development in the last 30 years.