You can now explore the Solar System on Google Maps

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 11:03 am
Updated Thursday, 24th May 2018, 16:21 pm

Google have offered some fascinating tools to visually explore our world for years, from satellite imagery to street view photography of just about every nook and cranny on Earth.

But now Google Maps is letting you boldly go beyond the mere surface of our planet - and out into the cosmos.

A recent feature allows you to explore the other bodies in our solar system, and it's one surprisingly few people know about.

Surprisingly high-resolution imagery of planet surfaces, the interior of the International Space Station, and even the moons of Pluto await.

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You can explore the International Space Station from your browser (Photo: Google)

How do I use it?

All you need to take advantage of this space-faring feature is an internet connection.

Simply open up Google Maps in your browser.

Make sure the view is set to 'Satellite' - as opposed to 'Map'.

Zoom all the way out until you can zoom out no more. At this point the Earth should be rendered in 3D, against the backdrop of the Milky Way.

You'll also notice a panel pop-up on the left-hand side of the screen, showing you all of your possible destinations.

Choose one, and explore!

Educational tool

The feature also displays facts on points of interest on specific planets: for example, we learned that the diameter of Mars' Olympus Mons is a whopping 610.13km from just a quick session.

Explore everywhere from the Red Planet, to the distant moons of Saturn with Google Maps (Image: Google)

As well as the top-down views of most of the solar system's major bodies, users can also explore the International Space Station in a Street View-style presentation that pieces together 360 degree photography with facts on everything from the toilet systems to the sleeping quarters.

The Moon and Mars were added to Google Maps as long ago as 2014, but it was only recently that a lot of the Solar System's other points of interest were included.

[Main image: Google]