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Visit Our Solar System’s Celestial Bodies with Google Maps

No one can deny Google Maps is a great resource, but it does have one major limitation — it’s only useful for this planet. Sure, we love getting directions to some hidden bar in Portland, and using Street View to stroll down the Vegas strip or gaze upon the majesty of Mount Everest within seconds of each other. But sometimes we’d like to go be able to leave our home planet and skip across the moon or explore the red terrain of Mars.

Well now we can even do that, because thanks to a whole lot of pictures from NASA, Google Maps will let us explore outer space from the comfort of our couch.

Google has uploaded over half a million photos taken by spacecraft (like Cassini did for 20 years), and used them to reconstruct celestial bodies in our solar system. You can zoom in to look at specific places of note (I’m already planning on using it when I re-watch The Martian), which means you can use Google Maps and Street View to explore the frozen Jupiter moon Europa the the same way you might look at a building in Branson, Missouri.

Explore the icy plains of Enceladus, where Cassini discovered water beneath the moon’s crust—suggesting signs of life. Peer beneath the thick clouds of Titan to see methane lakes. Inspect the massive crater of Mimas—while it might seem like a sci-fi look-a-like, it is a moon, not a space station.

They added 12 “new worlds” in total, so all the places you can journey to with Google Maps include Mercury, Venus, Mars, Pluto, our Moon, Ceres, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Mimas, Enceladus, Dione, Rhea, Titan, Iapetus, and the International Space Station.

You can find them all from here, but Google recommends “for extra fun” that you “try zooming out from the Earth until you’re in space!” We’ve been doing that for years anyway, we just have lots of place to go explore now. But we’re still going to need directions to the moon. I don’t think “up” will work.

Which of these celestial bodies do you want to explore the most? Journey to our comments section below and let us know.

Images: Google

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