Google Maps lets you explore the cosmos like Star Trek — complete with a warp drive ‘whoosh’

Google Maps lets you explore the cosmos like Star Trek — complete with a warp drive ‘whoosh’
Ceres, a dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter, as seen on Google MapsGoogle Maps

  • Google Maps lets you explore space without having to step out of the house.
  • It has added a new animation to their interplanetary exploration tool.
  • The new animation feels a lot like the warp drive on Star Trek or the starting sequence of Doctor Who.
Google Maps can really take you anywhere — including outer space. To make sure the experience feels otherworldly, the tech giant’s added a warp drive ‘whoosh’ akin to Star Trek or the starting sequence of Doctor Who, every time you switch planets.

Google Maps lets you explore the cosmos like Star Trek — complete with a warp drive ‘whoosh’
Google Maps 'whoosh' effectGoogle Maps screen grab

A Reddit user spotted the animation change on Monday, that makes it feel like you’re actually travelling through space rather than just zooming in and zooming out of the solar system.

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Aside from planets, users can also roam about the International Space Station (ISS), the dwarf planet Ceres, Jupiter’s moons and, of course, the Moon.

Google Maps lets you explore the cosmos like Star Trek — complete with a warp drive ‘whoosh’
Map of the MoonGoogle Maps screen grab

The maps are a result of half a million pictures collected by Cassini-Huygens mission during its 20-year lifespan. Even though the terrain isn’t as detailed as Earth, you can still spot the craters on Mercury and the mountain ranges on Venus.

The only catch is that Google Maps’ space exploration feature is only available to desktop users and doesn’t open on a smartphone despite having been around for more than 2 years.
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Here’s how to explore space with Google Maps:

  1. Open Google Maps in your Chrome browser. It will also work on non-Chrome browsers — just not as well.
  2. At In the left-bottom corner of the screen, there should be a square box which reads ‘Maps’. Click on it to switch over to ‘Satellite’ view.
  3. On the right-hand side, there should be a little toggle that looks like Earth. Click on the ‘Globe View’ button.
  4. Zoom out all the way, as far as you can go.
  5. Once you’ve zoomed out to the maximum, a menu will show up will all your possible destinations within the solar system.
  6. Click on any of the options and start your journey through space.
See also:
NASA satellite captures a picture of India’s largest salt producer from space

Space enthusiast helps NASA locate Vikram lander's crash site on the moon

The trash in outer space makes way for a new kind of map

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