Busy cooking this Easter Sunday? If you haven’t seen the new gigapixel panorama of the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater, I strongly encourage to put down the ham, click the photo and begin your journey. The best part is that you don’t just look at it – you EXPLORE it with the touch of your mouse. This thing’s totally interactive. Select any part of the image and press the mouse button, then drag and travel. Scrolling zooms the view in and out. The level of detail is beyond belief. Once you start looking around, you might get stuck at the computer for a while.
Andrew Bodrov, the creator of the panorama, has been stitching pictures together for over 12 years. Although he’s mostly worked with earthly vistas, he doesn’t limit himself to one planet. Bodrov’s enjoys stitching NASA images to create immersive virtual reality panoramas of Mars including this earlier one of Curiosity’s landing site.
Panning around his panoramas is the closest we’ll get – for the time being – of standing on Mars ourselves.
This latest panorama was compiled from 407 pictures taken over 13 days on Mars (Mars solar days 136-149) with Curiosity’s high-resolution mast cameras or mastcams. The two 2-megapixel cameras are mounted on a mast 7 feet above the ground and take both color images and video.
Altogether the image contains 4 billion pixels or picture elements, giving it a sweep and resolution that will, well, blow you over. Now that the Easter ham’s in the oven, sit down for a few minutes and enjoy a well-deserved Mars vacation