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Detailed Panorama of Mars Released 92

dptalia writes "NASA has just released a detailed panorama of Mars taken by the Spirit rover. During the short Martian winter the rover didn't get enough sunlight to move, so it took these pictures instead. Spirit took over 1400 pictures, for a total of 500 megs of data. If you look to the left of the picture, you'll see the tracks from the rover's trip."
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Detailed Panorama of Mars Released

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  • 'Detailed Panorama'? (Score:5, Informative)

    by atomicstrawberry ( 955148 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:22AM (#16589828)
    TFA has some tiny images that barely pass as thumbnails. You can get the actual 'detailed panoramas' from NASA directly [nasa.gov].
    • by complete loony ( 663508 ) <Jeremy.Lakeman@g3.14mail.com minus pi> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:46AM (#16589908)
      Some more direct links:

      Normal Colour Small [nasa.gov], Medium [nasa.gov], Omg [nasa.gov].
      False Colour Small [nasa.gov], Medium [nasa.gov], Omg [nasa.gov].
      Red / Blue 3D Small [nasa.gov], Medium [nasa.gov], Omg [nasa.gov].

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by rHBa ( 976986 )
        The Omg(Normal color) link just crashed firefox. It's probably worth "right click"->"Save link as..." as they are pretty massive imgs
        • by murple ( 28187 )
          I just viewed OMG normal color in firefox. And zoomed in. It is large. Wow, you can see every grain of dust.
          • by rHBa ( 976986 )
            I think I was a bit impatient with the DL, it was worth the wait though...
          • by Elminst ( 53259 )
            I love that you can follow the path of the rover backwards... you can see where the wheel stopped working, and where it got stuck in the sand going up the hill.
            Awesome.
        • How much RAM do you have? I have FF2.0, 1.5GB, and loading all 3 Omg images simultaneously in different tabs left Firefox just fine.
          • by rHBa ( 976986 )
            512Mb/1.3Ghz/FF1.5 FF stopped responding when I clicked on the Download StatusBar plugin. If I'd been a bit more patient it may well have recovered once the image finished DLing
      • I'll see your OMG... (Score:5, Informative)

        by MelloDawg ( 180509 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:57AM (#16590260)
        ...and raise you a Really Frakkin' Big [nasa.gov]. (387MB TIFF >>>>>>>> 87MB JPG)

        Also, this isn't the final image; just a preview in honor of Spirit's 1000th sol. Another panorama picture will be released that includes the rover deck.

      • by Jaruzel ( 804522 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:12AM (#16590350) Homepage Journal
        So...

        If I were standing on Mars in my natty Gucci space suit, which has a CLEAR visor. Is the Normal or the False Colour image the vista I'd see?

        ie. is Mars really red?

        -Jar.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by CSLarsen ( 961164 )
          I would *guess* normal color. Mars is brownish red, as you can see. In fact, if you look at mars with a telescope on a good day you can actually faintly see that it looks reddish-colored.
        • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @08:39AM (#16591776) Journal
          On each rover there is a color-calibration target which is used to determine 'true color correctness' (my words, not theirs). This article from Discover [discover.com] talks about how NASA determines what is the true color of each Mars picture using the color target. A picture of the target, an identical copy of which is kept on Earth and is compared against a picture from Mars in which the target on the rover is present in the picture, is shown in the article.
        • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @08:55AM (#16591996) Homepage Journal

          The problem is not "what color would enter my eyes?" but instead "what color would my brain register?"

          The color calibration target that is on the corner of the rover (designed by a group including Bill Nye the Science Guy, if I recall) helps the scientists recreate the colors that entered the camera lens accurately, or to recreate the colors of the materials when ignoring the differences in Martian lighting conditions. But if you were standing there on Mars looking at all this stuff for a while, you'd probably have a different impression. Your eyes would "get used to" the color shifts and start remapping things to perceive them without the shift.

          In cameras, this is called "white balance." The white target should look white, right? Well, anyone who has used their digital cameras to take pictures of a white birthday cake lit by candles, or a white wall in a room lit dimly with low-wattage incandescent bulbs has seen that white objects appear amber to the camera. Sometimes seriously orange. Forest shots look much more green/blue than you remember them. Many digicams have automatic white-balancing software, and they automatically shift the RGB colors until the average over the whole scene is neutral.

          Your eyes would get a really reddish scene on Mars. Just like that automatic white-balance setting on your camera, your brain would get used to the reddish glow, until the white spot on the color target looked mostly white or subtly blushed instead of a ruddy red color.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MasterC ( 70492 )

            The color calibration target that is on the corner of the rover (designed by a group including Bill Nye the Science Guy, if I recall) helps the scientists recreate the colors that entered the camera lens accurately, or to recreate the colors of the materials when ignoring the differences in Martian lighting conditions.

            Not quite. From a NASA story about the image [nasa.gov]:

            This is an approximately true-color, red-green-blue composite panorama generated from images taken through the Pancam's 600-nanometer, 530-nanomet

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Speare ( 84249 )

              Again, the issue is not "what wavelength is red" since that's simple to calibrate before launch time. Once a camera is able to accurately model a given shade as white or red or purple or chartreuse, the camera will continue to model that color pretty consistently until the electronics fail.

              The problem is not the hardware but in deciding what to perceive.

              Color is a combination of the incoming light, the surface characteristics, and the sensor's biases. We adjust our biases to counteract changes in the

          • by Tablizer ( 95088 )
            But if you were standing there on Mars looking at all this stuff for a while, you'd probably have a different impression. Your eyes would "get used to" the color shifts and start remapping things to perceive them without the shift.

            That might be so, but such is rather subjective because different people's brains will calibrate differently. I imagine the result would be something like a cross between the "natural" image and the color-enhenced one.
                       
      • Why thanks a lot!??

        I clicked OMG, and firefox prompty ate all my free memory then froze my computer. I just lost half an our worth of code.
      • Geez, who drives that thing... those tracks are going all over the place.
      • Just to give you some idea of the detail in those OMG HUGE images... Here's a closer look at some of the rovers cables [imageshack.us] from the bottom right of the image. So if you *do* decide to click those links I stupidly posted to slashdot ;) be warned...
      • Didn't crash my firefox, but the machine's been "in trouble" for about 12 minutes now ... and I've got a fat pipe hooked up to it, too. I know you said "OMG" but man, I guess that treats me not to think you really meant it!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by boethius78 ( 1002975 )
      They may be more detailed, but I still can't see any buggalo.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sorry, marsrovers is not working, only marsrover.nasa.gov

      Did something happen to one of them?
    • by rHBa ( 976986 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:35AM (#16590156)
      That's the sound of thousands of nerds changing their wallpaper...
    • by Himring ( 646324 )
      "Spirit survices 1000 SOLs...."

      I'm the only who thought, "SOLs?... sh1t outta luck?..."

    • by jafac ( 1449 )
      Yeah - I've often wondered at the trend lately; both SpaceDaily and SpaceFlightNow do this. They post an article about some nifty wizz-bang new space or astronomy photo, with often, no link to the photo, or at best, a postage-stamp preview. The old Fark saw comes to mind: "This post is useless without pics."

      Then when one thinks about it, MY tax dollars paid for this picture. Paid a lot. Why should some private journalistic enterprise be charging me for premium content for a link to this photo or video?
  • Wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That must have taken a while to render in 3DSMax.
    • That's what SETI's At Home software is for.

      And to give it that 1950's feel, "So THAT'S what a Hollywood set looks like!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:24AM (#16589834)
    Spirit took over 1400 pictures, for a total of 500 megs of data
    I am slightly surprised that the submitter neglected to link directly to this data, and that the 'editors' also declined to correct this oversight.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WhiteSpade ( 959060 )
      It may have been intentional. Sure, linking to the 1400 pictures would make sense since thats what the article seems to be about; however, I think it was wise to not link to 500 MB of photos on Slashdot's front page. Though NASA has some really nice servers that hold up well to the Slashdot effect, I think the editors want to give NASA a fighting chance.
    • That's less than 1/3mb per photo which is very smallby todays standards. guess NASA are using old tech cos of the time it took the rover to get there, or for reliability.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stevesliva ( 648202 )
        That's less than 1/3mb per photo which is very smallby todays standards. guess NASA are using old tech cos of the time it took the rover to get there, or for reliability.
        Or perhaps they're using a grayscale CCD imager with color filters and a low susceptibility to radiation-induced noise.
  • OMG! Some NASA bogan has been doing "circle work" with the rover!
    • by ynotds ( 318243 )
      I'm surprised nobody yet seems to have cropped down to that heavily tracked part of the image and made it more widely available. Guess it comes with the problems of working with even an 11.7Mb JPEG in an image editor unless you have a machine up to the task, which I won't till well into 2007.

      Reminds me about our local TV news showing the recent orbiter pic of Victoria Crater and zooming in until a black dot appeared near the rim, while totally omitting to mention that the black dot was a rover (Opportunity)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stevesliva ( 648202 )
        I'm surprised nobody yet seems to have cropped down to that heavily tracked part of the image and made it more widely available. Guess it comes with the problems of working with even an 11.7Mb JPEG in an image editor unless you have a machine up to the task, which I won't till well into 2007.
        If you really want to see the hobbyist-created imagery (and sometimes real planetary scientist-created imagery) then browse on over to unmannedspaceflight.com
  • by Garrett Fox ( 970174 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:19AM (#16590086) Homepage
    From "The Onion": Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars [theonion.com]. "And the thousand or so daily messages of 'STILL NO WATER' really point to a crisis of purpose."

    How sad! We should send some humans there to play with it.
  • by macadamia_harold ( 947445 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:31AM (#16590140) Homepage
    If you look to the left of the picture, you'll see the tracks from the rover's trip.

    You look at them as "tracks from the rover's trip."

    The martian people look at them as "evidence leading to the invading probe from earth."
    • Damn it! I told NASA I wanted a floating attack probe of doom, not a wheeled one. And I don't see the lasers I ordered either! I guess that's what I get for outsourcing, even my stereotypically incompetent minions could do the job better!
  • Raw Pictures (Score:3, Informative)

    by WhiteSpade ( 959060 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:33AM (#16590150)
    For the curious, the links to Spirit's and Opportunity's "raw pictures" are here http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/gallery/all/ [nasa.gov] ---Alex
  • Is it just me, or is there a sneaker footprint on Mars in the lower left third of the image? Hrmmm. More proof that the whole thing is faked. "And cattle mutilations are up." (sneakers).

    TTYL
  • ...you can see the small green alien with antennas picking his nose staring at the camera.
  • by giorgiofr ( 887762 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:18AM (#16590632)
    Where is K'breel, speaker for the Council? What shall we do, elder?
  • Nothing new here (Score:5, Informative)

    by OriginalArlen ( 726444 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:57AM (#16590802)
    The McMurdo pan has been compiled over the last six months or so. The raw data is always up on the web almost as soon as it arrives on earth (thanks to the enlightened attitude of Steve Squyres, PI :) and lots of people grab these and make their own images. There's even a dedicated software app: google for "Midnight Mars Browser". There are a couple of forums dedicated to this stuff which I shall refrain from linking to (Google around, if you're interested enough you'll soon find 'em) that produce really superb (so-called) "amateur" work, often before the official JPL releases.
  • If you look to the left of the picture, you'll see the tracks from the rover's trip

    Those look like transformer tracks to me.
  • if you don't know what to do with your 20%, time to start google maps Mars.
  • It's all faked anyways. They aren't on Mars. It's all STAGED people...... ...that's the moon, colourized.
  • "If you look to the left of the picture, you'll see the tracks from the rover's trip."
    Really?
  • I'm looking forward to Google Mars. Should be a nice companion to Google Earth.

    • I'm looking forward to Google Mars. Should be a nice companion to Google Earth.


      Oh, you mean this [google.com]? The least you could do is provide a link....
    • Why look forward? It has existed for quite a while. easily more than a year. You just have to log out of the main database and log in to the Mars database. Last time I checked this was only possible to do with the PC client.
  • by hcob$ ( 766699 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @09:07AM (#16592120)
    Or does this look like what you've always imagined tatooine really looked like?
  • Look, Banth tracks on the far right!!!!
  • by Chacham ( 981 )
    500 megs

    Did he actually say "megs"?

    /me cries
  • According to http://www.google.com/mars/ [google.com] the McMurdo Crater has these coordinates: 84.4S, 0.9E
    But the Spirit rover landed in 14.57S, 175.47E which is quite a distance in between... do I mix stuff up, is there an error on the google page or did that RC car really go all that way down there?
    • It's called the "McMurdo panorama", for what reason I can't find out, but the images are of the "winter haven" region in Gusev crater. The rovers have driven only a few miles each since landing nearly 3 years ago (but that's an incredible achievement compared to anything that's gone before in planetary landings).
  • During the short Martian winter the rover didn't get enough sunlight to move, so it took these pictures instead.

    "Using power. Using power. Using power."
  • Does anyone have the tools and ability to create a QTVR panorama from these pictures? I suppose I should also ask if it has already been done.
  • Yup. If you're in Albuquerque's west side (near the Rio Grande) and looking west, this panorama [newscientistspace.com] looks a fair bit like the volcanoes atop the west mesa. cool. it was such a different place than Wisconsin that to this midwestern boy, living there was almost like being on Mars.

    ::insert family drama of years ago:: ;-)

    that said, i visit and climb the volcanoes as often as i can, which is not nearly enough.

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