Walk on Mars
Taking Pictures of Mars from ASU
ASU’s Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), designed by Regents’ Professor Phil Christensen and currently orbiting Mars onboard NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, has acquired over 265,000 infrared images of the Martian surface since starting science operations in February 2002. Using the best 24,000 images from the past 18 years, ASU researcher Jonathon Hill has created a complete global map of Mars with a resolution of 100 meters/pixel, which is enough to resolve objects the size of a football field anywhere on the planet.
Sharing the THEMIS Global Mars Map
Last year the THEMIS team printed the map on a basketball court-sized vinyl mat, so that non-scientists can walk across the map and explore Mars for themselves. The map has been displayed at 18 events so far and over 5,000 participants have explored it, either with ASU’s Mars scientists acting as tour guides or on their own using our Mars Geography and Mars Landing Site scavenger hunt activities. To see pictures of the “Walk on Mars” map in action, visit our website at: www.walkonmars.space
Celebrating 18 Years in Space
NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft and ASU’s THEMIS camera launched to Mars on April 7th, 2001. Today, it is still going strong and is the longest-lived robotic spacecraft in the history of Mars exploration! We want to celebrate THEMIS’ 18th anniversary with a very special event, so that we can share everything that THEMIS has taught us about Mars.
But how can we even begin to capture the amazing scale of THEMIS’ contribution to the exploration of Mars? Well… we have an idea!
Even at the size of a basketball court, the THEMIS global map is not printed at full-resolution. At full-resolution, the map would be the size of a FOOTBALL FIELD!
This is where ASU and the THEMIS team need your help! We want to set a world record for the largest map of Mars by printing a full-resolution football field-sized “Walk on Mars” map to celebrate THEMIS’ 18 years in space!
But we certainly can’t do a project of this size by ourselves!
We’re asking all members of the ASU community and supporters of Mars exploration around the world to help the THEMIS team raise the $35,000 needed to print a world-record football field-sized map of Mars so we can share the excitement of Mars exploration with the many communities that made THEMIS possible!
Click on the "Give Now" button above to contribute to the Walk on Mars project and help spread the excitement of Mars exploration! All donors can enter the contribution amount of their choice (min: $5) and can chose to join our supporters mailing list to receive special updates leading up to our first event, which will hopefully be at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. Those who contribute at, or above, the special giving levels will receive small tokens of our appreciation, which are listed along with each level. Contributors who are not in the Tempe area and cannot travel to see the map at our first event may chose to redeem their small gifts at a future event or receive an alternate token of our appreciation.