How To Explore The Solar System In Google Maps Via Hyperspace

How To Explore The Solar System In Google Maps Via Hyperspace
Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, Google Maps

Say what you will about the last six-ish Star Wars movies or so, but there’s no denying that zooming through hyperspace to reach distant planets is one of the coolest visuals in the entire series. Now, unless 2020 gets real weird, chances are humanity won’t be making any near-lightspeed journeys anytime soon.

But Google Maps can now help us realise that experience in a small way.

Google Maps has added a novel hyperspace effect to the navigation tool’s solar system exploration feature. It doesn’t add much more than that, but it’s a fun excuse to play around with the solar system view if you haven’t before

Image Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, Google Maps

You’ll only be able to use the space feature—and experience the hyperspace tunnelling—on desktop versions of Chrome, but it’s easy to find and use:

  1. Go to Google Maps.

  2. Click the “Satellite view” button at the lower-left of the screen.

  3. Click the super-tiny “Global view” button at the top of the navigation controls in your browser’s lower-right corner.

  4. Using either the “-” key, your mouse wheel, or the Google Maps zoom controls, zoom out until you’re in the planetary view of Earth.

  5. Select one of the various planets and moons from the list on the left, and you’ll blast through hyperspace to your new destination. Eligible destinations include Mars (to visit Dr. Manhattan), Europa (to recreate the journey of that 2013 sci-fi film), and the International Space Station (to say hello to everyone currently zooming around our planet).

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