You can now take a field trip to Mars from the comfort of your own home

Intrepid explorers can now take a stroll around a landing site NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars from the comfort of their own homes. Thanks to an interactive map based on orbit images, RADAR terrain data as well as panoramic views captured by Perseverances HD cameras, Crater Lake The surrounding area can be explored with a regular web browser. online map It was presented at the Europlanet Science 2022 conference in Granada, Spain, by Sebastian Walter of Freie Universität Berlin.

“Map is the perfect tool for planning a future visit to Mars, with an interactive interface where you can choose from among the different available basic data sets,” said Sebastian Walter.

The map’s base layer is a combined dataset derived from three different instruments currently orbiting Mars: The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the European Space Agency. Mars ExpressThe Context Camera (CTX) and the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA Mars reconnaissance vehicle. High-resolution images of the map were provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Relative Terrain Navigation Team.

Show map The path of perseverance in its first year of exploration, panoramic views from selected landmarks, even an overview of Jezero Crater of how it appeared three billion years ago. The landing site was chosen inside the impact crater because it contained what looked like a river delta formed within an ancient lake. Just last week, NASA announced the discovery of organic matter in sediment deposited by water. These sedimentary rocks can also contain traces of microfossils, If you find life on Mars.

By clicking on the view points, users can access the 3D view of the Martian scene. Virtual panoramic images were pieced together from a large number of single images captured by the Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z camera instrument, provided by the University of Arizona.

“To get a real feel of what to expect on your future trip to Mars, you can tap one of the waypoint selector icons to enter either a full-screen 3D view or, if you have a virtual reality setup, to enter a fully immersive environment.”

The panoramic view allows virtual hikers to quickly zoom in and out and pan through scenes, so they can explore the landscape from large scales to detail in centimeters. You can even listen to the sounds of the winds of Mars shaking perseverance if you are standing close by. The sounds were recorded by a microphone in the rover.

“Initially, we created Jezero Map as a communication application to complement the HRSC Mapserver tool, which supports professional scientists to explore the surface of Mars,” explains Sebastian Walter. “But as the rover returns more and more high-resolution image data and even audio recordings, it turns out to be the perfect tool for visualizing this data in a scientific context on its own.”

Material provided by Europlanet.