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 270,000 infrared images of the Martian surface since arriving at Mars on October 24th, 2001. 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 this global map on a basketball court-sized vinyl mat, so that non-scientists can walk across the map and explore Mars for themselves. The "Walk on Mars" map has been displayed at 27 events so far and over 6,300 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
Expanding Our Program
Our participants have enjoyed exploring Mars with us so much that we want to bring the experience to an even larger audience! But to do that, the "Walk on Mars" program will need to expand and grow.
Walk TO Mars
The new "Walk to Mars" program will allow our visitors to follow the path that our astronauts will take on their way to exploring Mars! Participants will be able to walk across giant maps of the Earth, Moon AND Mars, all colorized using the same elevation color scale. This will allow them to learn about each planetary body, as well as start to compare and contrast them, just like planetary scientists do!
But we certainly can’t do a project of this size by ourselves!
We’re asking all supporters of space exploration around the world to help the THEMIS team raise the $35,000 needed to print our world record-setting maps of the Earth, Moon and Mars so we can share the excitement of space exploration with the public who make it possible!
Click on the "Give Now" button above to contribute to the new "Walk to Mars" project and help spread the excitement of space 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 expanded event. 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 gifts at a future event in their area or receive an alternate token of our appreciation.