As the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) has a nice pair of stereo cameras we can feast our eyes on images-with-dept around the Curiosity Rover’s landing site. A good example of this is the Glenelg region where Curiosity has been heading since her landing on 6 August 2012. Glenelg is the science destination at present for the rover, where three different types of material seen from orbit come together.
This 3D image (or stereo anaglyph as the technique officially is called) of Glenelg was taken by HiRISE ( High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) as the satellite flew overhead on Aug. 12 and Sept. 8, 2012. The rover and its tracks can be seen at far left, from the latter (left-eye) image. Beware that the height differences in the terrain appear exaggerated making the slopes seem about 10 times steeper than they really are. As you can imagine exaggerating the height differences in the terrain that Curiosioty is traversing is helpful to avoid running the rover into trouble.
Parachute and Back Shell in 3D
This 3D view shows the parachute and back shell that helped guide NASA’s Curiosity to the surface of Mars.
Bradbury Landing with Curiosity in 3D
It all started on Mars in 3D with this 3D image showing Curiosity where it landed on Mars within Gale Crater, at a site now called Bradbury Landing. The view was produced from images taken by the HiRISE as the satellite flew overhead after landing.
Viewing in 3D requires the traditional red-blue glasses, with red going over the left eye.
The image pairs have large stereo-convergence angles, which means that height differences in the terrain appear exaggerated; for example, the slopes look about ten times steeper than they really are. This exaggeration is useful over very flat terrain such as landing sites.
The full image set for these observations can be seen at at a special page for 3D images on the MSL website
On this page all images are 1024 pixels wide, which size can be accessed by clicking on the image.
Remember: viewing in 3D requires the traditional red-blue glasses, with red going over the left eye.
Also be advised that many people have a ‘lazy eye’ = an eye that does not adapt as easily, which means for 3D images that patience is required to get to the full effect. Best practice to overcome any trouble your eyes may give you in experiencing the full 3D effect is to concentrate on 1 point in the image and slowly let the 3D effect overtake you. With patience your eyes will get used to this exercise and viewing 3D images will become easier, and more instantaneous.
HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson.
The HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
The spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colorado.