The Curiosity rover looks like she’s concentrating hard on her tasks on Mars, and now you can zoom around and see what it would look like to be standing next to the rover in Gale Crater.
This new interactive image put together by panoramacist Andrew Bodrov from Estonia uses some of the latest imagery from Curiosity’s MAHLI camera, taken on Sol 610 (April 27, 2014 back on Earth) and additional images from the rover’s 34-millimeter Mast Camera to create the full panoramic scene. The mosaic, which stretches about 30,000 pixels width, includes 138 images taken on Sol 610. Bodrov used 138 images and it stretches about 30,000 pixels wide.
You may wonder how the rover took this picture of itself without the camera or the robotic arm showing up in the images. It’s done by combining multiple pictures taken with the MAHLI camera that is mounted at the end of the robotic arm. “Wrist” motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the images, and the arm was positioned out of the shot in the images or portions of images used in the mosaic.
Here’s a nice distraction to start off the day: pretend you’re playing in the sandbox of Mars alongside Curiosity. This new panorama shows the NASA Rover hanging out somewhat nearby Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons), its ultimate destination for the two-year prime mission it’s currently on.
“The images for panorama [were] obtained by the rover’s 34-millimeter Mast Camera,” wrote Andrew Bodrov on a blog post describing his work. “The mosaic, which stretches about 30,000 pixels’ width, includes 101 images taken on Sol 437.”
Bodrov, who is from Estonia, frequently does space-related panoramas. We wrote about a couple of other Curiosity panoramas he did in March 2013, in February 2013 and August 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.