Gusev 3D renderings
I have made some 3D renderings of Gusev crater and the area near the Spirit landing
site by combining data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), the Mars Orbiter
Camera (MOC) and Mars Express images. The resolution of the MOLA data is really too low
for closeups of the landing area but I'm still fairly happy with the result:
This one shows the view to the E or SSE from an altitude 140 meters directly above the landing site. The Columbia hills are visible as a horizontally long bright feature above center; they should probably be more prominent but the the resolution of the MOLA data is insufficient to show this. Gusev's rim looks like mountains at the horizon. From this it is also clear that nothing is visible beyond the rim (also obvious by looking at images/maps of Gusev). The field of view is 45 degrees.
Here's another one:
This is the view to the SSE and has a field of view of 50 degrees. The altitude is about 450 meters and the Spirit lander is visible as a small, white spot left of center. To its left Bonneville crater is prominent.
An oblique view of Gusev:
And finally a view from above which shows the different data sets I used:
The big, gray area (most of the image) is from the 1/256 MOC geodesy campaign map but I had to scale and shift it slightly to match the MOLA data. The fairly big, coloured 'stripe' is from a Mars Express image. On top of that is the landing ellipse mosaic and on top of that a section of a high resolution MOC image showing the lander hardware and nearby terrain.
It would be great if I could augment this with Mars Express DTM data (much higher resolution than MOLA) in the future. One can always hope...
Also I strongly suspect the Mars Express images represent the best color coverage of Mars so far provided they are properly processed - the images released so far have pastel colors that are far too saturated. I have not corrected for this in the above renderings.
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