A friend of mine has started his own Star Trek simulation. I will be playing a Federation Marine Major. The sim is based on a starbase orbiting the planet Ulysses IV. He has asked me to create a planetary map for U4. In doing so, I would like to create a realistic map. An impressive one at that. I've done some research and I've found some interesting things. So I thought I'd share them with you.
I found an interesting site from Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA. It allows you to view most celestial bodies in our solar system from any of the other bodies. This includes all of the planets, their moons, exploratory satellites, and the sun. You can visit it here.
But what I found afterward, is even more amazing. I remember back when we discovered Google Earth. It was so cool to visit all the places we'd been or heard of. Well, now imagine something like Google Universe. That's what the program Celestia is. This is a must have program! You can visit any celestial body you can find... in the solar system and out of it. And this program lets you manipulate the time period. Would you like to see where and when the next solar eclipse on earth will be? How about on Mars? Ever wonder what Jupiter looks like in the sky from Uranus? This program is incredible. Right now I'm watching Mercury rotate. It is just pitted with craters. Now I'm looking at Deimos with Mars in the background.