The current exhibition ‘Visions of the Universe’ at the National Maritime Museum In Greenwich, London includes a panoramic projection of images from Mars that are so vast and so detailed, that to stand in front of it feels like a real-life visit to the empty desert of the red planet’s alien landscape .
The images are made up of hundreds of individual pieces of data that have been stitched together by many space science systems in NASA to feel like you are standing on the surface of Mars.
Exhibition creator Kristian Martin explained why it feels so realistic: “Because it’s on such a huge scale – it’s over 13 metres wide, and it has a slight concave shape to it – it gives you an impression that you’re actually standing on the surface of Mars, which is something you can’t experience anywhere else in the world.”
The pictures come from three different ‘rovers’ on the surface of Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the more recent Curiosity.
Radmilla Topalovic, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, said this is the closest he will ever get to the real thing: “I think, personally, I’d be too scared to get in a space shuttle and go all the way to Mars. So we’ve brought Mars to you here. And it’s absolutely amazing to feel like you’re on an alien world. And little things like the sun is a lot further away on Mars, so it appears a lot smaller in the sky. The sunsets are the opposite to sunsets here on the Earth.”
The Visions of the Universe exhibition aims to show how developments in technology over the past 400 years – from Galileo’s first telescope to Nasa’s latest satellite-mounted cameras – have transformed our perceptions of our place in the vastness of space.
Visitors to the exhibition can tour the galaxy through over 100 photographs and images on display. Exhibits include the latest cutting edge photographs from NASA, as well as the Russian space programme and some of the most powerful telescopes in the world.
The exhibition runs until September 15, 2013.