This is interesting: a size comparison of every moon (natural satellite of a planet) in the solar system larger in diameter than 100 km – all 34 of them – viewable in Google Earth. Download the 34 moons KML file here (4.5 Mbytes). James Stafford released the collection at his Barnabu blog today. The moons are actually fully texture-mapped 3D models placed in a single orbit around the Earth. This is a very cool way of applying 3D models to make a scientific illustration! James used, with proper credits, texture maps from a variety of sources including NASA, USGS, and the Naval Research Laboratory, and many others (see his post for more details). Not only that, but he made a handy video which shows each moon in order around Google Earth:
Thanks for the fun James!
Learn how to turn Google Earth into other planets:
- Google Jupiter – Turn GE into Jupiter and show clouds in motion
- Google Saturn – this uses a 3D model for the clouds, also done by ‘barnabu’
- Mars Add-on for Google Earth
- Google Mars in Google Maps
- Moon and Mars overlay for GE
Other cool Google Earth content found at Barnabu recently:
- How to add sky to Google Earth
- London Eye Animation with Shadows
- Monthly Cloud Animations in Google Earth
About Frank Taylor
Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.
This is an amazing KML and is again one of those that I didn’t realize could be done. Congratulations to barnabu!
Very cool indeed, although I’m a little confused why there is detailed surface imagery for Charon when we don’t actually have any?
Looks to me like maybe baranabu has used textures from http://inkido.indiana.edu/a100/planetary_textures.html
, and the fault is theirs, I reckon.
I want to watch solar system planets in Google Earth, too.
This is brilliant! I knew that Titan and Ganymede were big, but I didn’t know they were *that* big.
If you want to travel through the solar system as you do in Google Earth try Celestia, which is an open source project (also free of charge) that really “makes you fly through space”. Bye
You Google Earth and we all see the solar vision of a city filled with Rays of Sun!
This is so incredible that this can be done with the Google Earth! I had no idea that this was out there. This will be very helpful.
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Renewable Electricity says
Thank you very much for given this great post….
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Dr. Ben - Solar Inventor says
I find it very interesting that every moon in the solar system larger in diameter than 100 km is viewable in Google Earth. This is a handy resource when applying 3D models to make scientific illustrations.
make solar panels says
I installed the many moons plugin. It installed right the first time with the moons and the surface texture showing. Every time I open Google Earth again and turn on the Many Moons they only show up as round spheres with no surface textures. I reinstalled the file again, the textures showed up, but when reopening Google Earth again I get the same results. Anyone know why I keep losing the surface texture maps?
Solar pv southwest says
That was really cool. 🙂 I enjoyed watching that so much. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I really like it so I’ll share it with my friends as well. :)Kudos to you!
revolving around the center of the Milky Way at 568,000 m.p.h