The 3D footage was stitched together by hand over three months by a filmmaker
While the first human-led visit to Mars might still be some decades off – especially given the Trump budgetary wish-list that cuts funding from NASA – but that doesn’t mean we cannot appreciate the geological wonder of the red planet from afar.
And from not quite as afar, as well, with a filmmaker stitching together photos snapped by the US space agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. For three months, Finnish filmmaker Jan Fröjdman edited together the topographic images captured by the MRO’s HiRISE high-res camera to create a stunning 3D video that showcases the beauty of this alien world.
It was painstaking work for Fröjdman, who had to colour in by hand all of the grey-scale images, before knitting together thousands of different images around reference points to add the 3D effect.
“This film is not scientific,” the Finn says. “As a space enthusiast, I have just tried to visualise the planet my way.”
The video, embedded below, opens with a stunning approach to Phobos, one of the two Martian moons, with the camera appearing to pan over the plains, craters, and other geological features. On the red planet itself, we even get to see the mysterious dark lines etched into the surface known as the recurring slope lineae, believed to be caused by trickling water located just under the Martian soil.
Take a look at the video in full below: