Thursday, March 16, 2006

Planetography

I will be on the road all day Friday so consider this Friday's update

Back in my high school days I was involved with a study that determining lunar heights by measuring shadow distances from mountain and crater peaks. One of the things we found out was that there were no other projects like this. The only recorded lunar heights were few and far between done by the Apollo project. There were no other works of lunaography or planetography that dealt with physical elevations to speak of in all the fields of science.

Now lunaographers and martianographers (if no one else can find these words I am coining them right here!) can rejoice. Google, in the spirit of Google Earth, has released Google Moon and Google Mars.

Google Moon has a satellite image-created map of the lunar surface. The sidebar allows one to focus on the Apollo lunar landing sites. Zoom in all the way for rare Apollo images.

Google Mars has more features. One can view the surface of Mars in an elevation map mode, through visible remote sensing, and the infrared spectrum. Options on top allow one to read stories about Mars or focus on various features on the planet. The two neatest things to look at are Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in the known universe, and Valles Marineris, the deepest canyon in the known universe and sometimes filled with ice fog.


Category: Space

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