Mars Express

Animations

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Das Talsystem Kasei Valles auf dem Mars

Virtual flight over the mouth of the Kasei Valles region

14. January 2014

This impressive video takes us on a virtual flight over the mouth of the Kasei Valles region. Earlier in the planet's history, enormous amounts of water flowed through the Martian highlands, sculpting these valleys and leaving its trace in the landscape.

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.

Video: 10 years of Mars Express

29. May 2013

The vertical exaggeration factor of the digital terrain model in this video is 2.5. The European Mars Express mission was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 2 June 2003. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the spacecraft has enabled planetary researchers to view Mars in three dimensions. The Institute of Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) developed and is operating the camera.

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.

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.