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.
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"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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