Typepad Import Image

That super-camera on the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter has done it again. This time in 3-D, almost. What you see here is a stereo view of the Martian moon Phobos. The Orbiter is equipped with a camera what scientists call the HiRISE camera (it stands for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) which is a ridiculously long name for a camera, no matter how good it is. But we’ll forgive them, because some scientist at the control has the soul of an artist.
The HiRISE made two different snaps (scientists call them “observations”) of the Martian moon on March 23. The two images were made ten minutes apart and show roughly the same features, but from slightly different angles. They were then combined to made a stereo view.
As my colleague Russell Hart points out, that’s essentially how stereo aerial images used to be made. But in this case we’re talking about vastly greater distances. Go here for more information, and to see a short video clip of both HiRISE observations.—David Schonauer