back to article NASA serves up Curiosity's billion-pixel panorama

NASA has stitched together 1.3 billion pixels of Martian marvellousness, giving the world the chance to peruse a planetary panorama of unprecedented detail. Available here with pan and zoom tools thrown in, the composite comprises nearly 900 images captured by the rover's cameras. Most of the images – 850 – came from the …


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  1. Don Jefe

    Not Available on Mobile


    You'd think that NASA could get their website together. If it is a concern over mobile data usage they could just put a disclaimer on there and let the user decide.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You are kidding .. right ?

      We get a high resolution pan and zoom panoramic of another planet .. stitched together from images taken by remote controlled nuclear powered robot, and your response is complain that you can't get see it on your phone ?

      I recommend a re-evaluation of your priorities Sir.

      ++1 for NASA

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: You are kidding .. right ?

        Yes. That is my complaint and it is perfectly reasonable. For an agency that needs all the public support it can get it is a silly decision not to make it available on mobile devices. I suggest you look a bit further than your nose.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You are kidding .. right ?

          It loads fine in Chrome on android, as long as you set to request the desktop site. But it doesn't actually work, I'm guessing because you can't do the equivalent of click-and-drag on a tablet/phone. You end up just scrolling around.

          It makes a bit more sense that they couldn't get/develop a navigation method usable on mobile browsers. But it'd be nice if they'd just said so.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: You are kidding .. right ?

            Works fine?

            Seriously though bitching that it doesn't work on mobile because you don't know how to make it work when thry have managed to send the images from another planet does seem rather silly. Plus remember which country they are in, you can bet they would get sued the first time some squirrel hunter landed themselves a huge bill for downloading it, even with a warning.

            1. Don Jefe

              Re: You are kidding .. right ?

              The fact that they can send those images is the point. For them to effectively cut out the fastest growing market (mobile) and the youth demographic (which is where their future funding will come from) when they obviously have immense technical capabilities is incredibly shortsighted.

              1. Joe Cooper

                Re: You are kidding .. right ?

                I'm not sorry if it doesn't happen to work on whatever phone you happen to have on release day. They have nothing to feel sorry about. In any case, they have finite funds – which you can donate to, if you wish – and in any case you can rig it up yourself for the good of the world. That's what this is for, by the way; good of the world.

              2. Rampant Spaniel


                but it does work on mobile, at least on android. There will be some mobile devices it might not work on but honestly if nasa spent the money on making sure it worked on every last mobile platform someone would be bitching about them wasting money doing so.

                They do some truly awesome shit on much less money than they had in the past and they attempt to share it. Perfectly, perhaps not, but IT would much rather give nasa more money than continue tax breaks for oil companies.

        2. MrXavia

          Re: You are kidding .. right ? @Don Jefe

          They use silverlight, so it won't work on mobile... they would need to hire new developers capable of HTML5 and re-write their entire panoramic app.. sure its doable, and likely to be done.. but really complaining they don't have a mobile version is a bit pathetic when it comes to this.. they don't HAVE to show us this but they do, and I think it is amazing!

          NASA is probably the only US government agency left that I have any respect for, and I would buy a round at my local pub for any NASA employee, from the guy who sweeps the floor right up to the guys risking their lives orbiting earth in a tin can built by the lowest 'preferred' bidder...

    2. FutureShock999
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Not Available on Mobile

      I love mobile - I've worked in mobile space myself quite a bit.

      But...honestly...there is a MAJESTY to these ultra-high resolution images that frankly will never show on any mobile device. I don't care how high the resolution will be looking through a porthole.

      I think NASA did you a favour by not supporting mobile - it would be like viewing a postage stamp of the Mona Lisa, rather than the real thing. Go dig out your 27" screen, and then have a gander...

      Paris, because of the Mona Lisa reference....

      1. Frank Bough

        Re: Not Available on Mobile

        Panoramas actually work better on devices that have built-in 3-axis accelerometers like, er, tablets and phones.

        You've tried Google Earth et al, surely?

        Shame this isn't optimised for iPads and their clones.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Not Available on Mobile

          Woah, people are downvoting someone who complains about use of silverlight/flash? What weird dimension is this?

        2. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Not Available on Mobile

          Panoramas actually work better on devices that have built-in 3-axis accelerometers like, er, tablets and phones...

          I once got a chance to fool around with a stargazing app on somebody's iPad. Hold it up to a part of the sky, and it brings it up on the screen complete with annotations showing what you're looking at. The real kicker was that when I held it down at the floor, it showed me an accurate annotated rendition of the southern sky, what I'd be seeing on the opposite side of the planet from me. Sweet.

          Still, viewing the pan on something as tiny as a smartphone just wouldn't do it justice.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Not Available on Mobile

            you can download it as a tiff or jpg, that should work on nearly anything. Again, this is a very high res panorama from freaking Mars (or the moab if you prefer you hats tinfoil), maybe there is room for a nasa app that gives mobile viewing with pan and zoom of their image collection so go write on or kickstarter it.

            anyone signed up for their space selfies on kickstarter?

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Simply amazing

    Who cares which "device" it works on or not?

    It's frikken Mars!

    1. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

      It's frikken Mars!

      Could be. Could not be. Couldn't rightly tell. NASA don't always get their navigation right so that thing could be driving around somewhere north of Putsonderwater for all I (and they) know. One sure can't tell from the pictures.

      (Just trolling. Fine set of snaps that. Nice rock!)

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Simply amazing

      THe people who care are the ones who can't see it.

  4. frank ly

    It told me 'Click Here' ...

    ... then told me I'd be installing Microsoft Silverlight and that I needed to have Active X enabled.

    I decided not to bother.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. John Deeb

      Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

      Same here but it turned out that the images under cylindrical view open an iframe for "" but the two images under panoramic viewer load flash from gigapan which worked for me.

      Sometimes I wish NASA would sort out their standard when communicating with audience and spacecraft alike,

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

        Well spotted sir.

        For those who want to view without silverlight and just flash:

    3. mIRCat

      Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

      I got the same message and was about to give up until I read Johns comment. It is still rather disappointing I'm having trouble viewing it full screen.

      Johnny 5... Alive.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

      then told me I'd be installing Microsoft Silverlight

      Ah. You have stumbled on the reason why I returned a Logitech Harmony remote control to the shop. No thank you, and certainly not on a Mac.

    5. Lexxy

      Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

      Yes, it's best we wait several more years for the browser vendors to implement the same things we were doing with plugins back in 2008.

    6. SoltanGris

      Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

      On that same page there is a link pointing to the direct downloadable 'small' version . A mere 150 or so

      megabytes for the TIFF format version.

      Quite viewable using XNVIEW freeware (for individuals) image viewer to view the image zoom and pan that way.

      I was quite disappointed with the online panoramic tool when I went to that site. On my 24" 1920x1200 screen the tiny view box was worse than a waste of my time. I went direct to the direct download to view local.

      I don't understand why anyone would not want to view that at the largest size possible.

    7. Mike Flugennock

      Re: It told me 'Click Here' ...

      Seriously, man. No other options? No QuickTime version, like on the Pathfinder and MER pans? Bah.

      No thanks, NASA. I'll just wait 'til my wife is asleep and not using the wifi, cue up a movie and wait for the big, fat jpeg to download (if that option's available).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it falling apart already?

    ... or maybe the serviceman dropped a wrench or such.

    Right next to that rock formation in the middle of the panorama:

    1. MrXavia

      Re: Is it falling apart already?

      Shhhhh! the overlords don't like littering, they might impound the rover!

  6. WildW

    I love these pictures from the surface of another world, but after seeing a few of these Mars panoramas they tend to leave me with the impression that Mars is such a sad, dull place. Just this desert of red sand and rock across the whole planet. I don't think I want to go there any more.

  7. Yag

    I wonder...

    ... how many "alien artefacts" will be discovered on this picture?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Desolate place devoid of intelligent life everything there bright orange.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Faintly depressing...

    The pinnacle of human achievement, all that effort, all that money, millions of miles, whole lives, careers even deaths...

    ...and there's fuck all there.

    1. Norman Hartnell

      Re: Faintly depressing...

      There's not "fuck all there" - there is a nuclear-powered rover made by humans which we managed to safely get off this planet, through hundreds of millions of miles of space to precisely land on another world, and which is driving itself around looking for signs of past life.

      Personally I call that pretty amazing.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        @Norman Hartnell

        I'm sorry, you think the most interesting thing on Mars is the rover we sent there?

        1. Norman Hartnell


          Where did I state that our rover was the most interesting thing there?

    2. Ru

      Re: Faintly depressing...

      ...and there's fuck all there.

      I'm always faintly amused by people who seem to think that scientists have a boring, clinical, sterile, joyless view of the world. I'll bet those scientists wouldn't look at a photo of a 3 billion year old vista on another planet and be disappointed.

    3. weebs

      Re: Faintly depressing...

      Honestly, what the fuck did you expect to find on there? Some buggalos?

      The real science will come from when they start doing the real drilling to find what's under the surface.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Faintly depressing...

        >Honestly, what the fuck did you expect to find on there? Some buggalos?

        Well, that certainly would be interesting....

        >The real science will come from when they start doing the real drilling to find what's under the surface.

        Is that where the buggalos are? Or will there be fuck all there too?

  10. The Man Himself Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    colour me impressed++

    If someone put together a billion+ pixel stitched image of some landscape photographs taken down the road from my house, I'd be impressed.

    The fact that these images originate from a remote controlled machine on *another f***ing planet* is total amazeballs with added awesome sauce.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: colour me impressed++

      The fact that these images originate from a remote controlled machine on *another f***ing planet* is total amazeballs with added awesome sauce...

      ...and the extra slathering of awesome sauce is the fact that we're getting images as good as the ones from my friend's DSLR being transmitted across about 140 million miles of space.

      Here's a cold one for the MSL Team.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The amount of detail they put into building that fake martian set in an Arizonian aircraft hangar is absolutely amazing

  12. rogerroger

    I'm assuming the neat L shaped line of holes in the Martian sand towards the bottom right corner is something that the rover made.... only it's not highlighted in any of the snapshots....

    1. weebs

      It is, the laser thing you mean? It's highlighted.

  13. toxicdragon

    Is there a version not in teeny eye-strain-o-vision?

  14. JimTopbloke

    Coffee anyone?

    I'm sure I can see the faint outline of a Starbucks being built in the far background, someone better inform Costa..

  15. davidp231

    Let's hope...

    ...that Wolowitz isn't driving it or it will find itself in a ditch pretty quickly.

  16. Dropper


    I don't want to stoke up conspiracy theorest propaganda (ok I do..) but this panoramic view looks remarkably similar to the view out from my bedroom window on the outskirts of Vegas.. I'm not saying anything dodgy is going on, but how do we really know..

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