NASA camera yields most accurate Mars map | world | Hindustan Times
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NASA camera yields most accurate Mars map

world Updated: Jul 29, 2010 15:29 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

A camera on board NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has helped develop the most accurate global Martian map ever.

Researchers and the public can access the map via several websites and explore and survey the entire surface of the Red Planet.

The map was constructed using nearly 21,000 images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System, or THEMIS, a multi-band infrared camera on Odyssey, says a NASA release.

Researchers at the Arizona State University's Mars Space Flight Facility, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have been compiling the map since THEMIS observations began eight years ago.

The pictures have been smoothed, matched, blended and cartographically controlled to make a giant mosaic.

Users can pan around images and zoom into them. At full zoom, the smallest surface details are 100 metres (330 feet) wide.

While portions of Mars have been mapped at higher resolution, this map provides the most accurate view so far of the entire planet.