Feeds

NASA unveils global Martian map

Odyssey view offers plenty of detail, but no roadsigns

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.