Video: Fly Over Mars Without Leaving Home

By Lisa Raffensperger
Oct 29, 2013 10:31 PMNov 19, 2019 8:21 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Mars Express illustrated above the Red Planet. Courtesy ESA. The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter may not be as often in the limelight as its charming terrestrial equivalent, Curiosity (I mean, it doesn't even have a Twitter account), but it's gotten some fresh appreciation this week with the release of an amazing flyover animation of the Red Planet. The scenes are constructed from topographical data the orbiter has collected over the past 10 years, as it's circled the planet more than 12,000 times. As you fly, see if you can spot Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano in our solar system, and Valles Marineris, a series of canyons that spans nearly 20 percent of the entire planet's surface. These data came from the spacecraft's High Resolution Stereo Camera, which has been imaging the entire planet in full color, 3D and with a resolution of about 10 meters---and even more fine-grained than that in some spots. In addition to taking images, the orbiter has been using spectrometry to analyze the chemistry of Mars' surface and atmosphere, and probing the planet's structure with radio waves. The resulting data are interesting---but not nearly as breathtaking as these visuals.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.