Thursday, December 10, 2009
We just launched new imagery and terrain for Mars in Google Earth! If you have the Google Earth plugin installed, you can view the updated areas highlighted in red (imagery) and white (terrain) below. Alternatively, you can download this KML, for viewing while using Mars in Google Earth.
The updates are from the High Resolution Stereo Camera aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. With these updates, nearly half of the martian surface is covered by imagery having a nominal resolution of 25 meters per pixel. As such, there are many exciting, newly-visible surface features to see. We've indicated some of these sights with color-coded arrows on the globe below:
Red arrow: Layered deposits on the floor of Hebes Chasma.
White arrow: Voluminuous lava flow fields adjacent to, and associated with, the Tharsis volcanoes Ascraeus and Pavonis Mons.
Blue arrow: New imagery of Olympus Mons' Aureole and the huge glacier-like structures along its north-west flank.
Yellow arrow: New images of the Shalabanta Valles (a deep canyon) section north of Orson Welles Crater showing huge landslides that occurred with such force that the debris (having an area the size of Chicago) flowed half-way up the other side of the canyon.
Green arrow: Dust and ice layers that comprise one of the Mars' most active geologic features, the ice cap of the north polar plateau, Planum Boreum.
Imagery and terrain updates are noted with a red and white frame, respectively
As a reminder, you can view Mars in Google Earth by clicking the 'planets' button on the toolbar:
Click here to find out more about Mars (and Moon!) in Google Earth.
You can also share your cool new imagery finds with us using Twitter! After looking at the updates in the viewer above, tweet your cool finds and add the #GEarthIMG hashtag to your tweets.