If you've ever daydreamed about life on Mars, or you recently saw the movie "The Martian" in which Matt Damon's character is stuck there, it's fun to imagine what life 34 million miles away would be like. Incredibly, you can now experience that yourself, right now.
You know NASA has had its Curiosity Mars rover on the Red Planet since August 2012. The rover in mid-December was on the Namib Dune on Mars, to study soil samples. Curiosity also took a lot of pictures.
Which NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released as a 360-degree, interactive video. From your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can see what Curiosity sees, all around it, in incredibly clear images.
Look up, and you see the red sky above Mars. Turn around and you see otherworldly, lifeless deserts. Look around some more and you can see Curiosity itself, and sand dunes that look like they could be in Arizona or Africa.
To interact with NASA's Curiosity Rover map, you can tap on your smartphone's YouTube app to watch it. Hold up the phone to eye level, and the image you see will change as you move around. Hold the phone up, and you see the sky above Mars. Twirl around, and you get a 360-degree view of the planet.
Or, more easily, check out the YouTube video below from your computer. As you watch the video, put your cursor on top of the video and pull it around. The video moves, so you can see what Curiosity sees.
Note: NASA's Curiosity rover isn't outfitted with a 360-degree video camera. So, you may be wondering how they created this amazing 360-degree view of the Red Planet.
They used software to stitch together photographs taken from the Curiosity rover. In fact, that stitching initially gave NASA some headaches. The original video, released a few days ago, looked choppy. Now, it looks seamless.