Now explore planets, moons in Google Maps

Enlarge Image Explore Venus and other objects in the solar system in Google Maps.                  Google Maps  Screenshot by Amanda Kooser  CNET

Google just did an update to Google Maps that teachers, astronomy enthusiasts and science buffs are going to love.

Stargazers are in for a treat as Google has announced that one can now virtually visit all planets and moons in our solar system using Google Maps. In this new update, Google has brought Mars, and the Earth's moon into Google Maps along with the other space content.

While Google has long offered detailed imagery of Mars and the Earth's Moon, these were not directly accessible from the Maps interface. Thanks for Cassini, Google's Maps are filled with breathtaking images for people to explore from wherever there is Internet access.

Ever wondered how far you can zoom out of Google Maps?

On the map service Google Maps has added the ability to explore the heavenly bodies. Then it added other planets and moons to its map but missed the gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

A spacecraft called Cassini has launched from Cape Canaveral 20 years ago. During its mission, Cassini recorded and sent almost half a million pictures back to Earth, allowing scientists to reconstruct these distant worlds in unprecedented detail. Johnsson worked with both NASA and the European Space Agency to insure both detail and accuracy.

All you need to do to try the new feature is to click the Space page or to go to the regular Google Maps satellite view and zoom out until you break through the atmosphere. The Google team polished the images collected and sent by missions from NASA, ESA, and other agencies and stitched them together to generate high-resolution mosaics of those bodies.

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