Explore Mars like never before: here is the “top” of Olympus Mons – after all, the largest known volcano in the solar system. (Screenshot: t3n editors)
Caltech scientists have created a detailed surface map of Mars from thousands of images. Similar to Google Earth, you can explore the Red Planet with just a click of your mouse.
how Phys.org According to the report, at Caltech, collaborators at the Bruce Murray Planetary Visualization Laboratory combined high-resolution images of Mars into a Almost complete map put together. Thus, researchers and individuals are able to fully understand the geography of the Red Planet.
The mosaic consists of approximately 110,000 images, all taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The images come from the probe’s black-and-white camera, only these images provide a satisfactory ratio of high resolution and size.
One of the MRO’s color cameras covers sections roughly the size of a conventional tabletop, while the other covers the entire surface, but the quality is not sufficient for mapping.
Because the final map is so high-resolution that a hard copy could fill a football field.
6 years of work went to the map of Mars. The algorithm helped select photos with the same lighting condition and clear sky. However, 13,000 images still had to be entered manually to fill in the gaps left by the automated process.
The result is impressive: users can easily glide over Mars with a mouse pointer, zoom in and out at will and spot cliffs, craters, or traces of dry river valleys and sandstorms.
Popular ‘tourist spots’ such as the massive volcano Olympus Mons or areas already visited by the Mars Rover Curiosity can be easily accessed with a single click.
This tool certainly has great potential to deepen our understanding and knowledge of Mars – and make it more accessible to more people. For the first time, something like orienteering on the red planet has also become possible for ordinary people.
And who knows: we may just be exploring for the first time the vast plains that could provide humanity with a new home in the not too distant future.
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