Visit Our Solar System’s Moons With an Interactive Atlas

On more than one occasion (roughly a million) this year, Professor Farnsworth’s classic line “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” has flashed through our minds. Unfortunately, we’re not astronauts or intergalactic delivery workers. Yet. But National Geographic at least has a way for us to digitally escape to the cosmos. Their intergalactic Atlas of Moons lets you explore some of our closest celestial neighbors in incredible detail.

Visit Our Solar System's Moons With an Interactive Atlas_1National Geographic

Our solar system includes over 200 known moons. And you can virtually visit some of the most important ones with The Atlas of Moons (which we first heard about at Boing Boing). The interactive site lets users explore a few of “the most mystifying or scientifically intriguing—places in our local neighborhood.”

The locales included on the site, covering our neck of the galactic wilderness all the way out to Pluto, come with tons of details about all of the moons in that area. There are also complete orbital paths for all planets’ moons.

Visit Our Solar System's Moons With an Interactive Atlas_2National Geographic

The important ones included in the interactive atlas also feature full measurements, descriptions of their shape, and interesting facts about them. The real fun, though, are the virtual, topographical recreations marked by notable areas. You can spin and rotate them for a full image.

And if mankind has sent any kind of ship or probe to them they are also included on the surface of the moons. It’s a great way to see all of the spots the Apollo space missions visited on our lone galactic partner. What’s even cooler is seeing how not every moon is shaped the way we might picture it. They aren’t all globular. Mars’ Phobos looks like a giant pock-marked rock.

Visit Our Solar System's Moons With an Interactive Atlas_3National Geographic

The atlas also comes with accompanying scores for categories of scientific interest, like odd composition, odd origins, and atmosphere. Of course they all rank “perfect” for not having any terrible people on them. It’s why we really wish we could actually visit them.

Featured Image: National Geographic

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