An impressive tool, available to anyone on the internet, has been published by NASA which allows you to virtually stand on mars, take a look around, and take a closer look at objects that interest you. The tool uses one billion pixels stitches together nearly 900 exposures taken by cameras on board Curiosity Rover and shows details of the landscape along the rover’s route. Click here to see the Billion Pixel Viewer.
The full-circle scene surrounds the site where Curiosity collected its first scoops of dusty sand at a windblown patch called “Rocknest,” and extends to Mount Sharp on the horizon.
“It gives a sense of place and really shows off the cameras’ capabilities,” said Bob Deen of the Multi-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “You can see the context and also zoom in to see very fine details.”Deen assembled the product using 850 frames from the telephoto camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam’s wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames — mostly of the rover itself — from the Navigation Camera. The images were taken on several different Mars days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012.
As you use the tool to zoom in on an object an amazing amount of detail can be seen. It is as if you are truly standing on Mars and able to walk around an area near the rover. There are two views available a cylindrical viewer and a panoramic viewer. The cylindrical view is more of a fish eye lens type view.. In that view you can see the tracks left from the rovers travels as well as where the rover landed. If you have ever dreamed of going to Mars this could be as close as you can get without being there,