HiRISE: High Resolution Imaging Science ExperimentThe University of Arizona
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HiRISE Education and Public Outreach
Child Looking Up  
What's Up There?
Mars...the Red Planet.

Named after the Roman god of war (well, they got it from the Greeks), Mars captivates our imagination. Although it’s only one-quarter the size of Earth, it looms large in our minds, whether in the fabled mistranslation of the Italian word "canali" as canals, or the fertile imagination of H.G. Wells, Mars has intrigued, confused, and even frightened us.

Until now.

Launched in August 2005, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) is flying onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. HiRISE will investigate deposits and landforms resulting from geologic and climatic processes and assist in the evaluation of candidate landing sites.

The People’s Camera
The science community and the broader public as a whole are encouraged to participate in HiRISE targeting and data analysis. This will be made possible by several key innovations:

1. User-friendly image targeting via HiWeb (based on the successful Marsoweb site, used for Mars Explorer Rover 2003 mission landing site selection studies).
  • A Web-based clickable, zoomable image data map will allow seamless access to all HiRISE, other MRO, and previous Mars mission data including image, topographic, spectral, and derived datasets. The interface will allow easy intercomparison of data sets via transparent overlays on the image data map. A key feature will be rubber-band selection of image targets and a simple justification interface. Similar versions of the interface will be maintained for team members and the general public.
  • Anyone may submit suggested image targets, give short justification and list of constraints (e.g. season, signal-to-noise ratio, resolution, etc.). Suggestions will be routed to appropriate HiRISE Co-Investigators and prioritized for targeting by HiRISE. NASA Quest and other partners will host web events and workshops to provide support to students and educators in the image suggestion process, in learning more about Mars and to encourage high quality suggestions.
  • Online analysis and visualization web tools will allow easy analysis of data (e.g. on-the-fly 3D perspective views of any location on Mars incorporating user-selected data sets, and online image processing and profiling tools).

2. Public participation in science data generation via Clickworkers.
  • Public interest in data analysis demonstrated by 80,000 individual users who collectively identified essentially every impact crater on Mars. Excellent fidelity of results was demonstrated by comparison to the Barlow crater catalog.
  • Users will generate a variety of geologic feature databases and may participate in image validation for the HiRISE team.

Contact and Resources
Virginia Gulick, EPO coordinator

HiRISE Online Image Viewer

HiRISE Learning & Activities Center
Fact sheets, tutorials and other curriculum materials.

HiRISE Clickworkers
Volunteer to help identify landforms in HiRISE images
HiRISE Mars Curriculum Materials
Drafts of our own education resource materials in PDF format. Comments are appreciated!

HiRISE Mars Coloring Book (Grades K-3 and up)
HiRISE Mars Activity Book (Grades K-3)
HiRISE Mars Activity Book (Grades 4-8)
HiRISE Mars Activity Book (Grades 9-14)
Facts about Mars
Average distance from the Sun: 142 million miles (229 million km)
Average speed in orbiting the Sun: 14.5 miles per second
Diameter: 4,220 miles (6,791 km)
Tilt of axis: 25 degrees
Length of a year: 687 Earth days
Length of a day: 24 hours 37 minutes
Gravity: .375 that of Earth
Temperature: average: -81 degrees F (-63 C)
Atmosphere: mostly carbon dioxide and some water vapor
Number of moons: 2: Phobos and Deimos
Partners in Education
NASA Quest



The Space Place


Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

ASU Mars Education Program

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