July 23, 2009
Google Earth's Moon
image by Google Earth-Moon
On July 20 Google Earth added the Moon to its list of planets (only Earth and Mars previously) that can be explored virtually. The basic background image is the familiar Clementine mosaic and there are dozens of hotlinks to Lunar Photos of the Week from Arizona State University and a handful of links to Kaguya videos. Zoomable closueups using the brand new LRO images take you nearly to the ground for each Apollo landing site. But unlike Google Earth you can't, so far, zoom in anywhere on the surface, going to the highest resolution images that exist. Very few of the high resolution images taken with Lunar Orbiter and Apollo Metric and Panoramic cameras are included. LPOD images aren't linked either. But each named feature does have a dot that, when clicked, displays locational and dimensional information from the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, but no image. Of course, clicking the dot could have linked to the that entry in the Moon Wiki which includes photos and many facts. As a version 1.0, or perhaps 0.5, Google Earth's Moon is a good start, but there are a number of improvements and corrections to be made - notice the Messier twins in the Apennines?
Don't forget there is also Google Moon!
Rükl plates 22 & 23
Yesterday's LPOD: The Last Dark Age
Tomorrow's LPOD: Lavafall