Tuesday Map: Google does Mars
Already bored with Google Earth? Is Google Transit just too mundane? Then it’s high time to go the way of the Phoenix and check out Google Mars: Google Mars In collaboration with NASA researchers at Arizona State University, Google Maps has created an interactive map of our neighboring planet, complete with “elevation,” “visible,” and “infrared” ...
In collaboration with NASA researchers at Arizona State University, Google Maps has created an interactive map of our neighboring planet, complete with “elevation,” “visible,” and “infrared” view options, as well as markers indicating space craft landings, dunes, craters, and ridges.
While Google Mars is a pretty cool concept, and its mapping has certainly come a long way from those of the 19th century astronomer Percival Lowell, it appears Mars as a planet doesn’t offer quite the diversity of satellite images provided by Earth’s mountains, oceans, deserts, and plains.
Google actually admits that without color alteration, “Mars pretty much looks like butterscotch.” And according to the principal investigator for the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, images sent back from the spacecraft, which landed on Mars’s toffee-like surface this weekend, show a “barren landscape that is kind of lumpy.”
Apparently the lumpiness, which orbiting space crafts detected back in 2002, is a sign of underground water ice. But now NASA’s Phoenix lander is back to explore the next big question: “But does the ice melt?”
If the answer is yes, then at least we’re not alone.
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