Most of us aren't likely to get the chance to fly to outer space, much less walk on a planet that isn't Earth, but that hasn't stopped Google from helping us reach the stars from our smart devices. When Google introduced a space exploration feature to Maps in 2017, we all got to see our solar system in ways that simply weren't possible before. This week, a Redditor found that Google has added a fun hyperdrive animation that makes it feel like you're really being teleported to a new planet.
If you're not familiar with the space feature in Maps, it allows users to pull up a list containing some of the planets in our solar system, as well as the moons that orbit them. Simply click on any of the menu options, and you will now be sped away — hyperdrive-style — to that location. Once you've been beamed to a planet or moon, you can zoom in and glide along its surface. Although you can't see the ground as clearly as you can here on Earth, you'll still be able to make out the craters on Mercury, the volcanic mountain ranges on Venus, tour the International Space Station, and much more.
To try Google Maps's interplanetary exploration tools with the new hyperdrive animation, head over to Google Maps using the Chrome browser on a computer (Chromebook, Windows, or Mac). This doesn't work as well on non-Chrome browsers, and you can't reach space at all if you're using a mobile web browser or the mobile Maps app. Next, click the "satellite view" icon at the bottom left corner of your screen and the "globe view" button at the bottom right corner. Finally, zoom all the way out to see Earth, and you'll gain access the menu of planets and moons on the left.