Animations

Animations Archive

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Animation: Mars - our red neighbour

18. June 2013

In addition to giant volcanoes and deep rift valleys, Mars has even more spectacular landscapes. Experience the various features of this planet in fascinating images acquired with DLR's High Resolution Stereo Camera on board the Mars Express spacecraft.

Animation: Virtual flight around Gale Crater

3. August 2012

Using images acquired by the High Resolution Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, DLR researchers have created a 3D virtual flight over the landing site of the Mars Science Laboratory in the 150-kilometre-sized Gale Crater. The landing scenario is also visible at the end.

Animation: Virtual flight over asteroid Vesta (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

8. May 2012

Even though it doesn't quite qualify as a 'proper planet, the second most massive asteroid in the Solar System, Vesta - which has a diameter of approximately 530 kilometres - exhibits numerous planetary characteristics.

Flug über die Mondoberfläche

Animation: Flight over the lunar surface

17. April 2012

This animation, partly in true colour and also using false colours to reveal the topography, is based on image data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and a global topographic model of the Moon's surface computed by DLR.

Phobos und Jupiter in einer Linie (Konjunktion)

Animation: Phobos and Jupiter in alignment (conjunction)

20. December 2011

On 1 June 2011, Mars Express carried out a special manoeuvre to observe a conjunction between Phobos and Jupiter. The animation shows Phobos moving from right to left through the camera’s field of view, then – outside this sequence of images – disappearing behind Mars. At the same time, Mars Express was approaching apoapsis – the furthest point from Mars in its orbit. At the moment that Mars Express, Phobos and Jupiter were aligned, the distance between Mars Express and Phobos was 11,389 kilometres, and another 529 million kilometres to Jupiter. This means that Jupiter was almost 50,000 times as far from Mars Express as Phobos, which is the reason why in this foreshortened perspective the largest planet in the Solar System, with a diameter of 140,000 kilometres, appears significantly smaller than the Martian moon located almost directly in front of the camera lens. While Mars Express and Phobos were continually moving forwards, the Super Resolution Channel (SRC) in the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) remained fixed on Jupiter. The image sequence contains a total of 104 separate images, taken within 68 seconds. The observation and simultaneous determination of the exact time at which Jupiter moved behind the Martian moon were used to improve the orbital data for Phobos. A motion de-blurring algorithm from the Chinese University of Hong Kong was used to improve the image quality (subtract the motion blurring). These improved SRC images were used for the animation. However, the images were moved horizontally by one pixel to fill in the gaps. Furthermore, the contrast was altered slightly. The shown animation was generated at the Institute for Geological Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin and published there as 'Highlights of the Month' in 2011. They present special Mars products obtained using the HRSC camera on board Mars Express.

Animation: Flight over the central part of Valles Marineris. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).

20. December 2011

This animation shows a flight over the region of the Chasmata Melas, Candor and Ophir in the central part of Valles Marineris. ‘Chasma’ (= Greek for "fissure/canyon", plural ‘chasmata’) refers to deep valleys and canyons on Mars and Venus bound by steep cliff faces. Valles Marineris is a huge rift valley system over 4000 kilometres in length, 200 kilometres wide and up to 11 kilometres deep. Images from 13 HRSC orbits were used for the sequence shown. The graphics were generated using the LightWave software package. Because of the size of the original mosaic (25 metres per pixels for the image data from the nadir channel, the HRSC camera system channel directed vertically onto the surface of Mars), the mosaic needed to be down-sampled to 50 metres per pixel for the image data animation. The shown animation was generated at the Institute for Geological Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin and published there as 'Highlights of the Month' in 2011. They present special Mars products obtained using the HRSC camera on board Mars Express.

Der Nicholson%2dKrater

Animation: Nicholson Crater

20. December 2011

The animation shows a simulated flight over Nicholson Crater. The crater is around 100 kilometres in diameter and lies to the northwest of the Medusae Fossae region. In the centre of the crater is an elevated area around 55 kilometres long and 37 kilometres wide that towers around three and a half kilometres above its surroundings. To date, it is not clear what this structure inside the impact crater is and which geological processes have caused its formation. There is some controversy as to whether the material came from underground, meaning it is of volcanic origin, or whether it was transported and deposited there by the Martian atmosphere. The crater was almost completely covered during HRSC orbit 1104. The best ground resolution by the nadir channel, the HRSC camera system channel directed vertically onto the surface of Mars, is 12.8 metres per pixel. The digital terrain model (DTM) has a resolution of 75 metres per pixel. The graphics were generated using the LightWave software. The shown animation was generated at the Institute for Geological Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin and published there as 'Highlights of the Month' in 2011. They present special Mars products obtained using the HRSC camera on board Mars Express.

Animation: Asteroid Vesta in 3D - seemingly close enough to touch

30. November 2011

For this 3D film, researchers at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research used imagery acquired by the German camera system on board NASA's Dawn spacecraft from a distance of about 2700 kilometres above the asteroid's surface. Viewed through red-green glasses, the asteroid’s surface appears in 3D, pock-marked with countless craters. The journey takes visitors to the equatorial region, then the 'Snowman' craters, followed by one of the highest mountains in the Solar System.

Animation: Flying over the three-dimensional Moon

17. November 2011

Since June 2009, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting the Moon, using a wide-angle camera to digitally record its cratered surface. Using a total of 70,000 images, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have now created a digital 3D model of the Moon with unprecedented accuracy and completeness. The video shows virtual flights over the surface of Earth's satellite.

Animation: Martian moon Phobos

8. November 2011

Phobos orbits the Red Planet in 7.6 hours at an altitude of 6000 kilometres. It is the larger of the two Martian moons.

Animation: A flight over Vesta

16. September 2011

Varied impact craters, valleys, canyons and mountains among the highest in the Solar System - the 3D images and videos of the asteroid Vesta created by scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) reveal a most unusual celestial body. The US Dawn spacecraft, carrying a German camera system on board, has been orbiting the asteroid since July 2011.

DLR scientists support expedition with a highly accurate 3D model of mountain

Animation: DLR scientists support expedition with a highly accurate 3D model of mountain

4. July 2011

Considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and, at 8000 metres high, the most difficult to climb, K2 lies on the border between Pakistan and China. For scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), it is the perfect place for testing the latest processes for converting satellite data into 3D models.

Oberfläche von Asteroid Vesta in Sicht

Animation: Surface of asteroid Vesta in sight

14. June 2011

The images acquired by the German camera system on the US spacecraft Dawn are currently being used for navigation purposes in its journey to the asteroid Vesta. A film, created by the Dawn team researchers from individual images acquired at a distance of about 481,000 kilometres, already reveals how complex the surface of the asteroid is.

Der Mount Everest in 3D

Animation: Virtual conquest of a summit - Mount Everest in 3D

13. May 2011

For the first time, researchers from the German Aerospace Center have depicted Mount Everest, the 'Roof of the World', in 3D using optical satellite data at a maximum resolution of just half a metre. These 3D images are the outcome of a collaborative venture between the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, the German company 3D RealityMaps GmbH and DigitalGlobe, one of the world’s leading providers of commercial, high-resolution Earth observation products. A video allows the viewer to follow the route taken by 15 mountaineers on a current expedition to the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

Making of ATV2

Video: Making of ATV2 "Johannes Kepler"

6. February 2011

The Automated Transfer Vehicle Johannes Kepler was launched on a specially modified launcher, the Ariane 5ES, at 22:50 CET on 16 February 2011 from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The second space cargo carrier in the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme, it is now en route to the International Space Station (ISS).