Google has a web site similar to Google Earth where one can examine the moon’s surface and see various points of interest. It’s called Google Moon . It’s worth mentioning I believe because there is a lot of historical information contained in the map detail that is very interesting. For example, the Apollo 11 landing site is identified and can be clicked on to see numbered areas which also can be clicked on to bring up a pop up box containing more information.

After clicking on Apollo 11, then clicking on the #1 balloon on the map brings up information about the landing site with links to watch the actual landing video and to read the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. Balloon #7 or picture #7, depending on where you click, is a panorama of “The Lunar Module and the American Flag.” You can click on the “+” sign and enlarge on anything in the picture, for example the flag. Seeing the flag upright and open even though there is no wind to blow it around is fascinating. These are high quality pictures, so by zooming in, you don’t lose much in the way of picture quality, and you can really zoom in close. Number #9 is a picture of the lander’s leg, and looking over the horizon of the moon all you see is pitch black. Enlarging this photo brings up a separate window which can also be enlarged. All I saw in the sky over the moon was a faint star in the middle of all that black, high up on the horizon. Clicking on balloon #16 brings up “The View from Little West Crater.” This is cool because you can use your mouse to pan the picture back and forth to see a very wide view. All these balloons have corresponding small pictures at the bottom of the screen that you can click on if you don’t want to chase the balloons on the map.

Picture #6, Apollo 11

In the upper right corner of the map are boxes that can be clicked to see topographical chart maps, which are very interesting as well. There are also boxes for Apollo (brings up Apollo missions 11 through 17), Visible (apparently the visible portion of the moon) and Elevation (for elevation points on the map).

I also found a Google map of Mars but it doesn’t seem quite as interesting as the moon map, and of course not as extensive yet. There are boxes that can be clicked for Elevation, Visible and Infrared. The surface detail can be enlarged and craters viewed in close. So it’s interesting, but I would start with Google Moon. Perhaps the Rovers can be plotted onto the Mars map at some point in the future.

 Picture #5, Apollo 15