'Columbia Hills' in Stereo
While en route to higher ground in the "Columbia Hills," NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit used its panoramic camera to take the images combined into this 360-degree stereo panorama of its surroundings. Because the rover was parked on a steep slope, it was tilted approximately 22 degrees to the west-northwest. This would be similar to tilting your body sideways like a leaning pole and turning your body and head around to survey your surroundings without bending your neck. At one point, you would be looking slightly down. At another point, you would be looking slightly up. In between those two points, your eyes would be slanted at an angle to the horizon. To compensate for this, image processing experts "untilted" the images, so to speak, which makes the martian horizon appear flat but also creates a vertical offset between the left and right eyes. This offset can make it difficult to view a scene like this looking through 3-D glasses because the two sides of the stereo image do not line up perfectly. Tilting your head one way or the other may help to view it more easily.
The highest point visible in this panorama is "Husband Hill," named for space shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband. To the right are the rover's tracks through the soil, where it stopped to perform maintenance on its right front wheel in July. In the distance, below the hills, is the floor of Gusev Crater, where Spirit landed Jan. 3, 2004, before traveling more than 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) to reach this point. This vista comprises 188 images taken between Spirit's 213th day, or sol, on Mars to its 223rd sol (Aug. 9 to 19, 2004). Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cornell University spent several weeks processing images and producing geometric maps to stitch all the images together in this mosaic. The 360-degree view is presented in a cylindrical-perspective map projection with geometric seam correction.
Figure 1 is the left-eye view of a stereo pair and Figure 2 is the right-eye view of a stereo pair.