January 27, 2009

NASA camera gets unique inaugural image

The U.S. space agency says one of its spinoff technologies from the Mars rovers was used to capture a unique image of President Barack Obama's inauguration.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said photographer David Bergman used the Gigapan camera system to generate an image that's a combination of 220 images with an overall size of 1,474 megapixels.

The Gigapan system is a NASA spinoff technology that can capture thousands of digital images and weave them into a uniform high-resolution picture of more than a billion pixels, the space agency said.

The technology is the product of a two-year collaboration between NASA and Carnegie Mellon University. The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have used the Gigapan system to explore the Red Planet for more than five years.

The image is extremely detailed and can be easily searched and magnified using on-screen tools. It is available at http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=15374.