Interactive version of Curiosity's Mars panorama

Jeffrey from 360 Cities sez, "Fresh from the Rover! Our member Andrew Bodrov stitched this interactive version of the 360º photo from Mars together. Be sure to go FULLSCREEN for the maximum awesomeness."

Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 2 (Thanks, Jeffrey!)


    1. My first impression was: this looks a lot like terrain in parts of New Mexico.  Then I saw the tags.

  1. Has awesome interactive panorama of mars… first thing I do is look down at the hardware… hah

      1. Probably something to do with positioning and/or automated checks of the equipment. Maybe something like “check if equipment x still exists and current heading” sort of thing.

      2. Wild guess: If you already know the exact scale and position of the target decals, their presence might make it easier to computer model the exact position and orientation of all the rover’s parts from back on Earth. Maybe you want to simulate an untested move before performing it, starting from the actual rover’s exact pose.

        Or maybe the parts are jarred out of alignment during landing, and you have to recalibrate its normal moves.

  2. Why is there an arrow  “Embudo Canyon, Albequerque NM 16.7km” on this thing?

    Is that some totally HI-larious inside joke?

    Navigation controls need work.  Too easy to get stuck straight up or straight down.

    1. Apparently, there’s a “Mars Road” in the vicinity of Albuquerque, so 360Cities placed the “Mars” panorama on the wrong planet.

      I really think 360cities should fix this. Although extraterrestrial panoramas are very very rare, they’re almost always spectacular, and deserve special care and attention. 

      1. Steve Hercher of 360cities says that it’s in their dev plans, and they look forward to hosting more NASA derived panoramas. 

  3. If you view this on an iPad (other tablets available) it pans around using the accelerometer and you get to spin round pretending you’re a Mars rover. I love this so much.

  4. WOW! My favorite is at west-south-west. Those bluffs look amazingly sedimentary. I’m not a geologist, however. Any geologists here care to give their opinion?

    1. There’s speculation but we actually don’t know at this point; one of the reasons this landing site was chosen is because the geology is interesting and it’s impossible to tell what’s going on without getting up close. 

      Many sedimentary processes are evident from satellite photos. There are sedimentary rocks here. Whether or not a specific feature you see is sedimentary, though, is a very open question at this point; especially the ridges and bluffs which may be igneous or metamorphic bedrock-type material (like ridges and bluffs on earth). Bedrock can be sedimentary too, though, and since geomorphic process on earth do not directly translate to Mars we can’t say by looking at erosional characteristics and so on what type of rock it is.

      My opinion as a geologist but not an expert on mars is that we probably are looking at sedimentary rocks in those bluffs, but there’s certainly no guarantee, and we don’t know what type of rock specifically, how they formed, etc.

  5. Where’s Aeolis Mons / Mount sharp? The mountain that’s supposed to be 3 miles high? I thought it landed at the base of it?

    1. Based on the haz cam photos, and since the rover hasn’t moved, I think it should be in the direction of the shadow in the pan. But it isn’t there. Missing mountain, geolocation on the wrong planet, and it didn’t come from NASA – so there should be a great big asterisk next to this thing. We’re all excited to see a color pan but I don’t think this should be passed off as the real deal without official verification or a detailed explanation of how it was made.

      Edit: compare WSW pan view with this photograph:

      Dark foreground seems to match but the mountain it’s… ah it’s gone.

      1. Could it be hidden by a dust storm? If you pan SW, a lot of the crater rim appears to be obscured by some sort of cloud. Perhaps the two could be related?

        1. Or the obscured crater rim and missing mountain are artifacts of the stitching software and/or limited source material of the guy who put it together. I’m not saying it’s faked, just that I’m wondering if any artistic license has been taken in areas that haven’t been photographed in detail yet.

      2. The mountain is already in the panorama.  It’s the “small looking” hill in the direction of the shadow.   The smallness is the fish-eye optical illusion (“Objects are closer than they appear” car-mirror style); but it’s actually Mt Sharp. Zoom in a little before panning, to reduce the fisheye effect. Now Mt. Sharp looks much bigger in the 360 panorama!

    2.  I’m thinking that’s maybe the mountain in the SW and the original the guy was working with didn’t have the top of it? That’s the way the pano images NASA have been putting out are.

      1. That may be the case, but look at the hazcam image:
        That’s Mount Sharp, according to NASA.

        Now, look at the panorama,26.50,70.0

        You’ll see that the top curvature of Mt. Sharp is exactly the same between the hazcam image, and the panorama.
        The mountain simply looks very small in the panorama, only due to the optical fisheye-like / cylinder effect of the panorama.  (That’s the same problem in Google Street View: gigantic landmarks in the distance in Google Street View looks very small).

        Trust me — the whole Mt. Sharp is that little mountain you see in the panorama.   Have you heard of “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” in your car’s side view mirror?

    3. Isn’t Mount Sharp ALREADY in the 360 panorama?  I see it.  It just only looks “small” due to fish-eye effect.  The mountain in the same direction in the shadow?

      The mountain looks small mainly due to camera distortion (but it could also be incorrectly stretched image).  But it’s not a small mountain — that’s a big one.  It is an optical effect caused by the panorama stretching.  Zoom in the mountain, and it’s exactly identical to the photograph by NASA.

      Look at the details; they match exactly the mountain that’s already in the panorama. (the little-looking ‘hill’ in the direction rover of the shadow, and slightly to the right, is actually Mt Sharp)

      Mount sharp just looks small in the panorama, due to optical effect. But zoom in using the mousewheel, and you’ll see the surface features match Mount Sharp, even though it’s a little smeared (low-resolution).  Let’s wait for higher-def transmissions, it’s still a slow dial-up-style link over 500 million miles…

    1. The camera sits on top of a mast and therefore would not be able to see directly below itself.

    2. It’s removed, almost, but not quite Google Street View style.
      You simply take multiple parallaxed images, and erase the camera pole that way.  You can see image-stitching artifacts where the camera pole was.As the camera rotates, you take multiple pictures pointing downwards, circling the base, then you stitch to erase the pole. Google Street View also has artifacts below the camera, when Google removes the car below the camera.  (By stitching a picture of the road, after the camera’s moved forward)

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