HiRISE is currently the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet, and it spotted a bizarre ear-shaped impact crater on Mars nearly 2-years ago from an altitude of 291 km. This specific crater measures over 1,800 meters across and located in Chryse Planitia in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars. The camera operates in visible wavelengths, similar to human eyes, but with a telescopic lens that produces images at incredible resolutions.
These ultra high-resolution images are so detailed that scientists can distinguish 1-meter-size (about 3-foot-size) objects on Mars and to study the surface structure in a much more comprehensive manner than ever before. HiRISE is also capable of making observations at near-infrared wavelengths to obtain information on the mineral groups present. It’s only a matter of time until we see SOM’s inflatable Moon village on Mars.
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From an altitude that varies from 200 to 400 kilometers (about 125 to 250 miles) above Mars, HiRISE acquires surface images containing individual, basketball-size (30 to 60 centimeters, or 1 to 2 feet wide) pixel elements, allowing surface features 4 to 8 feet across to be resolved. These new, high-resolution images are providing unprecedented views of layered materials, gullies, channels, and other science targets, in addition to characterizing possible future landing sites,” said NASA.