Bad Astronomy

Martian mesa… in 3D!

I love Mars pictures taken using the phenomenal HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and I love 3D images, so I – and therefore you – get a twofer today: a totally cool 3D view of a mesa on Mars, looking straight down on it from orbit!

[Click to embiggen.]

Obviously, you need red/blue glasses to make this work. If you don’t have any, I suggest you find some (lots of places sell them online), and then search this blog for the word “anaglyph”, which will make you very happy.

How cool is this? You can see that the top of the mesa is substantially above the rest of the surface, and the shallow depressions in the top are obvious… and, of course, provide us with a whimsical example of pareidolia. The sand dunes rippling across even look a little bit like eyelashes.

Man, I love stuff like this.

You can find details about the picture on the HiRISE site as well as wider field of view pictures that put it into context. HiRISE has an incredible gallery of 3D anaglyphs that’ll keep you occupied for quite some time, too.