Feeds

NASA unveils global Martian map

Odyssey view offers plenty of detail, but no roadsigns

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

NASA has unveiled "the most accurate global Martian map ever" - a 21,000 image mosaic from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) aboard its Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

According to the agency, the snaps have been "smoothed, matched, blended and cartographically controlled" to produce the final result, which at full zoom dishes up details as small as 100 meters.

Philip Christensen, principal investigator for THEMIS and director of the Mars Space Flight Facility, explained: "We've tied the images to the cartographic control grid provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, which also modeled the THEMIS camera's optics. This approach lets us remove all instrument distortion, so features on the ground are correctly located to within a few pixels and provide the best global map of Mars to date."

He added: "The broad purpose underlying all these sites is to make Mars exploration easy and engaging for everyone. We are trying to create a user-friendly interface between the public and NASA's Planetary Data System, which does a terrific job of collecting, validating and archiving data."

Well, the view is impressive, as this image of the Valles Marineris shows:

The Valles Marineris, as seen on NASA's new Mars map

However, there's no way of telling exactly where you are on the Martian surface, which makes exploration more of a random wander than a guided tour. A latitude and longitude reference would help.

Those of you with a working Red Planet GPS, "large bandwidth, powerful computers and software capable of handling images in the gigabyte range" can download the full-fat map in sections here.

NASA has more here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.