Get glasses at Flandrau Science Center, Starizona
High resolution 3-D images of the Martian surface have been made public by the University of Arizona-led High Resolution Science Imaging Experiment.
HiRISE has been taking 3-D images from aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft since November 2006, said Eric Eliason, mission co-investigator and operations manager.
He said 362 of the 3-D images were posted on the mission’s Web site Monday.
The images may be found at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/anaglyph
Another 600 are slated to be released by March, he said.
The color images show fractured mounds, canyons gullies and mountains on the planet’s surface.
Inexpensive two-color filter glasses are needed to view the images, he said.
Glasses may be obtained at UA’s Flandrau Science Center, 1601 E. University Blvd. and Starizona, 5757 N. Oracle Road, Suite 103. The HiRISE Web site offers information on purchasing glasses.
The 3-D images, called anaglyphs, are a result of using HiRISE to collect data for digital surface elevation models, he said.
Human eyes, separated by a few inches, provide the brain with 3-D images.
HiRISE paired images of a point on Mars, taken from slightly different angles, to come up with the 3-D images, he said.
The paired images could be separated by 100 or more orbits of the planet, he said.
Because the convergence angle, or the angle between the two observation points and the spot being photographed, range from 20 to 30 degrees, the topography portrayed can be exaggerated, he said.
“Those craters you see are not as deep as they look,” he said. “Typically there can be two to three times exaggeration.”
While the surface elevation data provides specific numbers of how tall or long surface features are, there is great qualitative scientific value in the anaglyphs, he said.
“You get a great idea of the surface relief,” he said. “That’s why we have two eyes. We see in stereo and we can make more sense of the world with two eyes.”
HiRISE image site: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/anaglyph
Tucson Citizen Mars page: www.tucsoncitizen.com/mars