An incredible photographic panorama of the surface of Mars has just been installed at University College London. The mural is 40 metres long and 3 metres tall, and depicts a 10 mile sweep of the red planet’s surface.
The imagery comes from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling our russet neighbour since 2006. Its HiRISE camera is the most powerful ever put in orbit around another planet, with resolution sufficient to pick out surface rovers and their wheel tracks.
The panorama at UCL is taken at a resolution of 57cm per pixel, more than adequate to show that the red planet isn’t always so red. “Up close, the image will challenge with an array of bizarre textures and colours; from further afield, the image will show an ethereal visage of an alien, yet also strangely familiar, world.”
You can visit the installation for free any time over the next two months — you’ll find it just inside the main UCL campus building, not far from Jeremy Bentham. It forms part of UCL’s Festival of the Planets, and was put together by Dr Peter Grindrod, who provided the image up top.