http://facebook.com/ScienceReason ... HiRISE - High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment.
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera is a camera on board the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
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The 65 kg, $40 million (USD) instrument was built under the direction of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. It consists of a 0.5 meter reflecting telescope, the largest of any deep space mission, which allows it to take pictures with resolutions up to 0.3 m, resolving objects about a meter across, or the size of a beachball.
The HiRISE camera is designed to view surface features of Mars in greater detail than has previously been possible. This allows for the study of the age of Martian features, looking for landing sites for future Mars landers, and in general, seeing the Martian surface in far greater detail than has previously been done from orbit.
By doing so, it is allowing better studies of Martian channels and valleys, volcanic landforms, possible former lakes and oceans, and other surface landforms as they exist on the Martian surface.
Doug Ellison from UnmannedSpaceflight.com has done it again and again and again. Here are new Mars flyover videos Doug has created from data from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Using DEM (Digital Elevation Model) (also known as DTM Digital Terrain Model) files provided by the HiRISE team, Doug is able to render 3-D movies of a specific location on Mars. Since he is using actual high-resolution data from HiRISE, Doug says the terrain seen in the movies has accurate vertical scaling and is not exaggerated. These new views of the Red Planet are also stunningly beautiful!
The video above is of the Mojave Crater wall on Mars, and below is Athabasca Valles. And Doug says more are on the way! If you recall, Doug created the flyover video of the Spirit rover's location that was on Astronomy Picture of the Day.
DEMs are a grid, or raster, file describing elevation values at regularly spaced points, or posts. HiRISE DEMs are made from two high-resolution images of the same area, taken from different look angles by the spacecraft. The HiRISE folks say that creating a DEM is complicated and involves sophisticated software and a lot of time, both computing time and man-hours.