A 360-Degree ‘Street View’ From Mars

by John Williams on August 15, 2012

360-degree panoramic image of the Martian landscape surrounding NASA’s Curiosity. Credit: Andrew Bodrov

After seeing all the amazing imagery so far from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, I know everyone wants to go there and take in the visual treats of Gale Crater. With the help of a 360-degree panorama you can virtually explore Curiosity’s landing site; sort of like a Martian version of Google’s Street View.

Take a martian minute to explore the panorama at 360pano.eu.

Photographer Andrew Bodrov stitched together images from Curiosity’s navigation cameras to create the panorama. “After seeing some of the stitches of Curiosity’s images at NASA’s website, I decided to stitch the panorama myself,” Bodrov told Universe Today.

He uses PTGui panoramic stitching software from New House Internet Services BV (http://www.ptgui.com) to create the 360-degree view of the mountains and sky surrounding the car-sized rover that successfully landed on Mars on August 6th.

“NASA has still not published enough source material to assemble a complete panorama in color,” Bodrov says. He used a color filter to make the images more representable. He also added that the sky and sun in the panorama were added in Adobe Photoshop. He used the size of the Sun seen in this spectacular image of a Martian sunset from NASA’s Spirit rover taken in 2005 as a guide.

While Bodrov says the high-resolution images themselves are amazing, just seeing a picture of another world is more inspiring. “It’s very nice to see the achievements of humanity which allows you to see a picture of another world,” he said.

Bodrov says he has more than 12 years experience creating panoramas including an awesome panorama (complete with sound) for the Russian Federal Space Agency of a Soyuz/Progress launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in August 2011.

Image caption: Planet Baikonur courtesy of Andrew Bodrov

About 

John Williams is owner of TerraZoom, a Colorado-based web development shop specializing in web mapping and online image zooms. He also writes the award-winning blog, StarryCritters, an interactive site devoted to looking at images from NASA's Great Observatories and other sources in a different way. A long-time science writer and space enthusiast, he created award-winning Hubble Star Cards. Use coupon code UNIVERSE to Hold the Universe in your hands. Follow John on Twitter @terrazoom.

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