The Mars Report – In 3D!

Welcome, My Dear Readers, to the 3D issue of The Mars Report here @ The Other Shoe. This entire issue will contain nothing but three-dimensional images from curiosity on Mars. I have wanted to bring a three-dimensional issue to you, My Dear Readers, but until this week the NASA JPL website just did not have enough images. That situation changed this week.


First I need to explain to you that you will need three-dimensional glasses in order to see the images properly. You can find these three-dimensional glasses and any number of DVD releases of movies and a three-dimensional format. They can also be found in Xbox 360 games like Batman Arkham Asylum. The red lens will need to be on the left side of the glasses for them to work with these NASA JPL images.


A word of caution. Do not wear the three-dimensional glasses outside of viewing these images. Do not attempt to try your car wearing the three-dimensional glasses. Do not attempt to prepare food while wearing three-dimensional glasses. Do not operate heavy machinery or landscaping devices while using three-dimensional glasses. That should about cover all the legal stupidity that I might get involved in writing this article this way.


Next, My Dear Readers, I have to clarify a little terminology used in this article. I will be referring to these images as three-dimensional, as when used with three-dimensional glasses they do appear three-dimensional. However, NASA JPL refers to the ease images as stereo images. Stereo images in that they are a composite of two different image sources and multiple exposures. NASA JPL is absolutely correct in stating that they are merely stereoscopic images. Three-dimensional just sounds so much cooler.


I have decided to share these 3D images from oldest to newest. Seems NASA/JPL have been developing these images for going on nine years. Our first image is from the Martian Lander Phoenix. .


3D Image of Phoenix’s Firstr Shovel of Martian Soil

The robotic arm on NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander enlarged a trench beside a rock called “Headless” during the mission’s 115th Martian day (Sept. 20, 2008) in preparation for sliding the rock into the trench. The Lander’s Surface Stereo Imager took the two images for this stereo view later that afternoon, showing the enlarged trench and the rock.

The robotic arm successfully moved the rock two days later.” [1]


I know I went back pretty far to get this first stereoscopic (3D) image for this issue of The Mars Report, but I wanted to show an evolution in the process and be comprehensive. This image was taken on Mars on September 23, 2008 by the stereoscopic cameras aboard the Phoenix Mars Lander.




(Opportunity 3D Image of ‘Copper Cliff)


Our next 3D image comes from the Martian Lander Opportunity on its 3153rd day since leaving Earth. Nine years the Opportunity Martian Lander has been working for Americans. Opportunity has been providing more and more science, every day, about our sister planet Mars. This proves that the little money NASA and JPL get, from the American taxpayer, continues to work long after the project is forgot.


3D panorama of 'Matijevic Hill' for Opportunity’s Ninth Anniversary


Above is a 3D panorama of ‘Matijevic Hill’ for Opportunity’s Ninth Anniversary. This area does not provide the same landscapes, and geologic features, as our images from Curiosity. NASA/JPL was far more daring in the placement of Curiosity, with fantastic results. Below is the same image only without 3D effect and ‘White Balanced’.


Same Image As Above - 'White-Balanced' to Match Earth Light


I included the above image for one reason. When I viewed the 3D image I felt like it lost the size and scope. Therefore, I share the above image for you to go back and forth with the 3D.


Curiosity's Eastward View After Sol Day 100 Drive 3D

Finally we come to images from our current Martian rover, Curiosity. This is an image just 100 days from launch. It is a composite of many images taken from the two navigation cameras. You can see Mount Sharp in the background upper right. The image quality and clarity is far superior to our first few images.


3D High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of Glenelg


The above image was produced by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The time frame was between August 12, 2012 and September 8, 2012. The rover and its tracks are seen at the far left, from the latter (left eye) image. I included this image because I was taken by it during the review process. However, I also included this image because I wanted to share the information that these 3D (or stereoscopic) images are taken and made from orbit as well as by rovers.


3D Curiosity Image of River Bed Near Glenelg

This image (above) is of the Curiosity discovered ‘river bed’. This discovery made the nightly news on most major networks, and all the PBS and BBC broadcasts. I found the 3D version of this image much more convincing than the 2D version. If you have ever walked down a riverbed, or close to the edge of a river, these rounded rocks are familiar. Finally mankind has proof that there was flowing water on Mars. A cautionary tale for Earth and those who still do not believe in large-scale climate change, and that it is happening now.


3D Curiosity Image of Mount Sharp


As always, I have saved the best images for last. The above image is of Mount Sharp as Curiosity approaches Mount Sharp. I like this image best because it shows us the 3D characteristics of the rove in the foreground and of Mount Sharp in the background.


Curiosity 3D Image of Mount Sharp 'White Balanced' to Match Earth Lighting.

This is the very same image, only ‘White Balanced’. This gives the image of the Martian landscape as if it were seen in Earth light. I enjoy the balanced views as they take a foreign landscape and make it more ‘Earth-Like’.


I am going to wrap up this 3D edition of The Mars Report with an older landscape 3d image. This is taken by Opportunity.




Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the end of the very first 3D Version of The Mars report. I hope that you have enjoyed viewing the images and reading as much as I have enjoyed putting this together for you. I know that you have many sources for content and entertainment and I am honored that you choose The Other Shoe. Have a great summer weekend and I will see you, again, soon.





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