Anyone with an internet connection can now tour craters, cliff sides and other features on Mars through an interactive mosaic, the highest-resolution global image of the Red Planet ever created, NASA said.
Called the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars, the mosaic was produced by the Bruce Murray Laboratory for Planetary Visualization at Caltech. According to NASA, the lab took six years and tens of thousands of hours to create the mosaic.
The Global CTX Mosaic of Mars stitches together 110,000 images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA said the mosaic contains so much data that if it were printed out, it would cover the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.
The mosaic offers a view of Mars in mesmerizing detail, allowing viewers to see the Red Planet like never before.
Viewers can click around the interactive to explore the Martian globe. Zooming in allows them to closely look at features, such as hillsides, cliffs and craters speckled throughout the planet, while zooming out allows viewers to see Mars in its entirety.
Users can also jump to specific locations that have been programmed into the mosaic. For example, clicking a button labeled "Jezero Crater" would automatically take the viewer to the crater, which is being explored by NASA’s Perseverance rover.
"I wanted something that would be accessible to everyone," said Jay Dickson, the image processing scientist who led the project and manages the Murray Lab. "Schoolchildren can use this now. My mother, who just turned 78, can use this now. The goal is to lower the barriers for people who are interested in exploring Mars."