Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Google Sky, Moon, and Mars

Exploring Google products for lifelong learners is like being the kid in the candy many choices but not as bad on the teeth or the sugar levels.

Google Sky, Moon, and Mars are just a few more cool tools in the long list of Google products and labs. So whether it is family night for space exploration, a scout meeting for backyard astronomy, or classes that are using the Internet instead of an outdated textbook, or a local group just exploring and sharing knowledge...go ahead point, click, and explore. You might have fun while learning something new.

Google Sky -
From the infrared view of the sky from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) to the microwave sky from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP and the historical view of the sky as drawn by Giovanni Maria Cassini (printed in 1792) showing the constellations in their classical form from the collections of David Rumsey.

Google Moon -
Four different types of data in Google Moon:
Visible - A mosaic of images taken by the Clementine missions. This is a black-and-white version of what you would see if you were in orbit around the moon. This composite imagery was prepared by the USGS.

Elevation - A lunar terrain map generated by the USGS in conjunction with the Unified Lunar Control Network 2005, and shaded using an airbrushed shaded relief map.

Apollo - A collection of placemarks that tell the story of the Apollo missions that landed on the moon. This includes stories, quotes, images, panoramas, audio clips, and links to videos of the astronauts' adventures on the lunar surface.

Charts - A collection of geological and topographic charts of various regions of the moon.

Google Mars -

Three different types of data in Google Mars:

Elevation - A shaded relief map, generated with data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.

Visible - A mosaic of images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. MOC is like the digital camera you have at home. Basically, this is what your eyes would see if you were in orbit around Mars.

Infrared - A mosaic of infrared images taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Warmer areas appear brighter, and colder areas are darker. Clouds and dust in the atmosphere are transparent in the infrared, making this the sharpest global map of Mars that has ever been made.
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