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Author Topic:   Google Mars
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-13-2006 12:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Google has debuted a mapping website for Mars:

Produced in collaboration with NASA researchers at Arizona State University, Google Mars has at its heart a gigantic mosaic image of Mars made from 17,000 individual infrared photos taken by THEMIS, the Thermal Emission Imaging System, aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey.

Google Mars includes three different types of data:

  • Elevation - A shaded relief map, generated with data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. This map is color-coded by altitude, so you can use the color key at the lower left to estimate elevations.
  • Visible - A mosaic of images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. MOC is like the digital camera you have at home. Basically, this is what your eyes would see if you were in orbit around Mars.
  • Infrared - A mosaic of infrared images taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Warmer areas appear brighter, and colder areas are darker. Clouds and dust in the atmosphere are transparent in the infrared, making this the sharpest global map of Mars that's ever been made.
In addition, embedded within Google Mars is the most detailed image ever made of Valles Marineris, the Red Planet's 'Grand Canyon.' Built from over 500 separate photos, it reveals landscape features only 100 meters (330 feet) across.

The Valles Marineris mosaic led to another joint project, carried out in collaboration with a team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Digital Image Animation Laboratory. The result was Flight Into Mariner Valley, a computer animated movie that takes viewers on a simulated flight through Valles Marineris.


Posts: 507
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-14-2006 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really nice to get some perspective on Martian Geography with all the spacecraft. The next era should certainly be in more rugged terrain ie) canyons, the poles, or focus on deep core drilling and sample return.

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