Explore a high-res 3D map of Mars

The European Space Agency has released a high-res 3D map of the red planet, comprising photographs taken by the Mars Express' stereoscopic camera.

High-res image of the Amenthes Planum, taken 13 January 2013.
(Credit: ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a high-res 3D map of the red planet, comprising photographs taken by the Mars Express' stereoscopic camera.

Since early 2004, the ESA has had a satellite in orbit around Mars, surveying and photographing the red planet with the help of a high-res stereoscopic camera, the HRSC (high-resolution stereo colour).

In that time, Mars Express has completed more than 10,000 orbits of Mars — capturing images all the while.

On 4 February, this led to the release of a photographic 3D map of Mars, covering 87.8 per cent of the planet's surface, made up of 2702 individual swaths.

(Credit: ESA)

61.5 per cent of the surface has been mapped at a resolution of at least 20 metres per pixel — which means there's potential for hours of zooming in and combing the map for signs of water, life and J'onn J'onzz.

The image is available as a 97MB TIFF download on the ESA's website here. You can also check out more pictures from Mars Express here, and, for even more Mars, you can visit Google Mars, the Mars Greeley-Haven 360 panorama and NASA's Curiosity page.

Via www.fastcodesign.com

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