Not long after a new collection of three-dimensional lunar landscapes went online, NASA has released the latest batch of 3D anaglyphs from Mars. As it circles the planet, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter trains its powerful HiRISE camera on the surface. Sometimes, mission planners command HiRISE to image the same scientifically interesting spot twice, once from one angle, then again on a subsequent orbit--after the spacecraft has rolled slightly to the left or right. This yields a pair of images that can be combined into a 3D anaglyph.
Surveying scenes from Mars this way reveals the complex beauty of these places in a completely new way. The only thing better would be to go there in person. I understand people are working on that. Meanwhile, if you haven't already, you'll want to get (or even make) a pair of red-blue glasses and enjoy some of the latest 3D images. Some of them are only a few weeks old.
I've included a few of my favorites here, starting with a look at a formation that Mars explorers suspect is part of an ancient river delta. The HiRISE team made this image as part of an effort to search for landforms that suggest the river once emptied into a standing body of water.
All of these pictures draw us at least one step deeper into the story of the Red Planet.