See Mars as a 1.2 BILLION-pixel panorama or an 8K video

The surface of Mars is now viewable as a 360° VR vista, either as an 8K video (above) or an 85K, 1.2 billion-pixel panoramic image. 

Beamed back by NASA's Curiosity rover, the high-resolution panorama immortalizes solar day 3060 (15 March 2019, even though the photographs were captured over five days) with an interactive 360° image. 

• Read more: Best camera for astrophotography (opens in new tab)

"NASA's Curiosity rover captured high-resolution panorama of the Martian surface between Sol 3057 (Mar 12) and Sol 3062 (Mar 17, 2019)," writes 360 Cities (opens in new tab)

"A version without the rover contains 136 images from 34-millimeter Mast Camera; a version with the rover contains 260 images from 100-millimeter telephoto Mast Camera. Both versions are composed of more than 396 images that were carefully stitched."

In February, NASA's most recent Mars rover beamed back a 4K interactive panorama (opens in new tab) from the red planet, courtesy of the 19 cameras aboard the Perseverance (opens in new tab) rover. 

While Curiosity possess fewer cameras, it has nonetheless had the time to record and return a much more pixel-packed look at Mars with a remarkable amount of scope and scale. 

"Humans minds don’t easily comprehend the vast eons of time that separate us from the places we explore in space with robots like Curiosity," said Scott Guzewich, Atmospheric Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "Our minds are designed to think in terms of hours, days, seasons, and years, extending up to a duration of our lifetime and perhaps those a few generations before us. 

"When we explore Mars, we’re roving over rocks that formed billions of years ago and many of which have been exposed on the surface for at least tens or hundreds of millions of years. It’s a gap of time that we can understand numerically, but there’s no way to have an innate feel for the incredible ancientness of the planet and Gale Crater."

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.