Saturday, February 20, 2010


What happens when you take super-accurate HiRISE data and make a movie out of it?

Via Wired: Science
So this is a really accurate view of the surface of Mars, in particular the Athabasca Valles, including an interestingly eroded volcanic cone and some dunes. How awesome is that?

HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) is a camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that takes incredibly detailed images - down to a scale of 1m. It also takes stereo images to create these DEMs (Digital Elevation Model). Also, the public is allowed to submit requests of areas to be imaged, so it's a touch democratic. If you want a gorgeous desktop, google HiRise.

The HiRISE DTM page the animation was based on
A series of interesting HiRISE images regarding volcanic processes on Mars
NASA's HiRISE page
A brief description of Mars volcanism

Also, googleMars is awesome, but jMars offers a much more technical approach, even to the layperson. As this program is used by actual Mars scientists, it can be quite complex, so a gander through the tour/tutorial pages is helpful.

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