Curiosity of Gale Crater





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Published on Nov 12, 2011

This video shows the intended landing site of NASA's Curiosity Rover; Gale crater, 145 km across, or about the width of Connecticut. We approach Mars seeing the Merged Color Mosaic global map from the Viking mission imagery, fading to a higher resolution infrared map from the THEMIS camera on the Mars Odyssey Mission, and finally to higher resolution strips from the Mars Orbiter Camera from the Mars Global Surveyor mission.

Gale crater sits on the border of the Mars Dichotomy, between the ancient cratered highlands to the south, and the lower, smoother volcanic planes to the north. As we can see, the central region inside Gale crater is highly layered and weathering has exposed these layers which contain a rich stratigraphic history which hopefully Curiosity rover will get to investigate.

The Mars global color map comes from Arizona State University (www.mars.asu.edu/data/mdim_color/) and from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's On Mars web map server (onmars.jpl.nasa.gov).

This video was recorded from a live flight through the American Museum of Natural History's (AMNH) Digital Universe (haydenplanetarium.org/univerese) as visualized by the planetarium software called Uniview, from the Swedish company, SCISS AB (scalingtheuniverse.com). Uniview allows interactive flights through the Digital Universe, solar system, and to all charted planets, in domes or on single screens and can be networked simultaneously across the globe. Uniview grew from a student intern project between AMNH and Linkoping University in Sweden. Uniview is also the software used to visualize the Digital Universe as seen in the You Tube hit "The Known Universe".

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