Full Moon Rises on Google Earth


Exactly 40 years after Neil Armstrong took his famous “one small step for man,” and less than six months after adding the ocean to its virtual planet, Google unveiled the moon in Google Earth today.


Much as you could already fly to the bottom of the Grand Canyon or the Mariana Trench, perch on top of Mount Everest, or just enter your address and hope to see your home from above, you can now zip around the moon, scout historic landing sites, search for secret alien runways, or test pet lunar landing hoax conspiracies to your heart’s content.

Google and its partners in the effort, including NASA, have assembled enough moon-related content to flood the Sea of Tranquility. You can drape geological maps, photographs, spacecraft models, narrated mission tours, and panoramic images across the lunar landscape. Hear Apollo 17 astronaut Jack Schmitt describe it:

Apollo 11 veteran Buzz Aldrin brought some Frank Sinatra along to play during the first moon landing in 1969. If you’d like a soundtrack for your Google Earth moonshot, I’d say it’s aged pretty well.

Related news from National Geographic: Apollo 11 Facts: 40 Years Later