Thursday, March 18, 2010

Making All Those HiRISE Images Even Cooler

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM

We've regularly featured images of Mars from the HiRISE camera on The Range, but now here's video of what some guy did with all those pictures: He created a fly-by using the topographical data taken by the camera.

The video (showing the Candor Chasma region) is being billed the most accurate video of the surface of the Red Planet.

Here's more from Discovery News:

British 3D animation guru Doug Ellison* has created the most dramatic example to date. This is the first true visualization that makes me feel that I've really been to Mars. It is awesomely beautiful and mesmerizing. I could watch it over and over. It is vastly more enthralling than anything conjured up by Hollywood in science fiction films. Gustav Holst's "Mars: Bringer of War" from "The Planets" symphony thumps in my head every time I see this video. (Holst's Mars is often mistaken for the musical score from the film Star Wars.)

The virtual camera flies 300 feet above the martian terrain in the southwest corner of Candor Chasima. Billions of years ago large amounts of ice under the surface may have melted and carved large outflow channels. As a result, the surface collapsed where substantial amounts of ice were removed, forming the vast Valles Marineris canyon system.

What's more, the video used the HiRISE data that anyone can download in order to render his videos.

In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves: "Whoa."

*The fact checkers at The Range found that Ellison was not the creator of the fly-bys, whough he does make his own.

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