While NASA has released some incredible images taken on Mars' surface, there's not much video footage to be found of the Red Planet. That is, until today. The team at Elderfox Documentaries just edited together some incredible images to create a 4K video of Mars, giving us a crystal picture of this planet.
By stringing together high-resolution photos taken by the Curiosity, Spirit, and Opportunity rovers, the video gives a sweeping overview of several areas of Mars. It also answers the question why don't the rovers send live video footage of the planet? While the respective cameras on the rovers were the top technology of the time when they were launched, the rates at which they can send data back to Earth is exceptionally slow.
For instance, the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, can only send data back at 32 kilobytes per second. Once a Sol—a Martian day—it has eight minutes when it can connect to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. When this happens, it can transfer data at up to 2 megabytes, but with such a brief window, sending back video doesn't make much sense. Luckily, things on Mars don't move much, so taking photographs is still a great way to get an impression of the environment.
To put together the video, the editors stitched together several photos to create panoramas that they could pan across. The effect gives a thorough, in-depth look at some of Mars' craters, deserts, and canyons. This thoughtful use of NASA's imagery is just another reason why the public benefits from the government agency's choice to release this material into the public domain.
With a soothing soundtrack and voice over to explain what we're looking at, the video is a great way to spend 10 minutes learning about another planet.