Saturday, March 14, 2009

Google Earth - another Mars feature added.

I'm amazed how cool this thing keeps getting all the time and it's still totally FREE! Google just added another feature to the Google Earth software (that Mars part of it actually). Now you can see almost live images from the orbiters just hours after they are downloaded and processed. It also has a feature where you can see the orbital paths of the spacecraft, targets they are going to photograph, and a "ride along" view from orbit.
There are 3D models of the landers (check out the Viking landers for example) sitting on the surface as well as photos of them from orbit. Beagle-2 crash site still hasn't been tracked down yet though.
As a bonus feature, there are also historical maps of Mars including Percival Lowell's view with all the canals and "Martian cities" that can be seen.
To see the Mars features, you need Google Earth 5.0 and then simply click the planet icon and pick Mars.

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