Percival Lowell's map of the western hemisphere of Mars
If you have half as much fun exploring them as we did making
them, you're in for a great time.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
- What am I looking at?
- Why isn't the visible map in color?
- What are the gold colored pieces on the thermal map? Is that color real?
- Can I see the Mars data using the Google Earth client?
- How do I find out more about this data, or Mars in general?
- I have another question or comment. Where can I send feedback?
We've included 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. This map is color-coded by altitude, so you can use the color key at the lower left to estimate elevations.
- 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's ever been made.
In true color, Mars pretty much looks like butterscotch. We chose a gray-scale map in order to highlight more surface details.
Those are areas where we've hand-built higher resolution mosaics and superimposed them on the global image. The infrared data is all from wavelengths humans can't even see, so it's always false color. We've chosen a golden tint because it looks good and makes the high-resolution images stand out nicely.
Yes, you can! Mars in Google Earth allows you to fly to the red planet in a virtual 3D environment.
You can learn more about these images on the JMARS data distribution page. To learn more about Mars in general, you might start with the NASA Mars Missions home page. There's also a pretty good search engine that could aid you in your quest. ;)
If you have comments or questions about Google Mars, we'd love to hear them. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.