If you are tired of stalking that dude by looking at his house every 10 minutes on Google Earth, it is clearly time for you to move on. No, not to another dude. To the new Google Mars.
Google Mars has been available as part of Google Earth since 2009. And I have always enjoyed it. I mean, given the choice between Doing Stuff and Looking at Weird Indented Circles on Face of Mars, well, there is not really a contest there. But now Google Mars is even better, because they’re using something called a Context Camera (CTX), which is located on Mars’ Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Let us count the ways the new Google Mars rocks (notice we are speaking English here rather than Martianese, because we don’t want them to know we are watching them). You can see certain locations in 3-D and in higher resolution. There’s a whole explanation of why the resolution is so much better in new Google Mars than in old Google Mars, but I fell asleep while I was reading it. So just look at this photo and take my word that it is.
Pretty neato. Google Mars’ update also includes a tour of each of the four potential sites where NASA’s Curiosity rover could have landed. It ultimately made its landing at Gale Crater, but it also had the option of landing at a place called Mawrth Vallis, which is one of the oldest valleys on Mars. And you can check it out here and get all stoked about upcoming missions.
You can reach Google Mars by clicking on the orange Saturn-shaped button at the top of the screen in Google Earth. And if you need a tour guide, scientist Ryan Anderson’s blog The Martian Chronicles is a very good one. I wonder who works at Google Mars. I also wonder if it is really easy for them to pick up people in bars, once they say, “Oh, yeah I work at Google Mars.” It probably is, provided those people are nerds.