The D&M Pyramid

Mark J. Carlotto, Ph. D.


This page provides several stereo images of the D&M pyramid. The first two are derived from Viking Orbiter frames 70A11 and 70A13. The image below is a side-by-side stereo image over the area of overlap between these two Viking frames. The baseline distance B is approximately 51 km and the altitude H=1725 km. For a pixel size D=48 meters, the resolvable height (for a 1 pixel parallax shift) is 2DH/B = 5.34 km. From shadow analysis the height of the D&M is about 1.25 km. Thus the height of the D&M will cause of parallax shift of about 1/4 pixel. As can be seen in the stereo image there is only a small "3-D effect".

To view the side-by-side images in stereo, first look away and focus at a point in the distance. Then shift your gaze to the screen. You should see three images. Concentrate (but don't focus) on the middle one and try to bring different parts of the view into correspondence. This will take some practice. If you have difficulty seeing stereo, try moving back from the screen. Be patient, it's worth it!


The picture below is an anaglyphic representation which requires colored glasses for those that have a hard time "seeing" side-by-side stereo.


Here is a side-by-side stereo image magnified 2X. Note the subtle marking on the northern butress of the pyramid which gives the impression of a trident (perhaps pointing to the Face beyond).



The images below are side-by-side and anaglyphic stereo pairs created from 35A72 and 561A25. 561A25 has a resolution of about 163 meters/pixel (identified and provided by V. DiPietro). The greater spread in viewing angles significantly enhances the 3-D effect although the difference in resolution makes the pair somewhat harder to fuse.



In these images evidence of both 4- and 5-sided symmetry can be seen. The butresses suggest a 5-sided structure. On the other hand there is some photographic evidence that the western face lies at right angles to the southern face. In the lower sun angle image (35A72) the impression that the western face follows the pentagonal layout of the butresses is stronger. It is the author's opinion that the geometry of this unusual object remains an open question.

(Page last updated 2/1/96)

© 2020 Mark J. Carlotto