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New Hi-Res Mars Pix
July 16, 2008 6:21 PM   Subscribe

The European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe has sent back some beautiful new high-resolution images of the Echus Chasma. More images and information can be found here.
posted by tits mcgee (14 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
High-res goodness is in the second link.
posted by D.C. at 7:18 PM on July 16, 2008


The lack of comments here is akin to the later Apollo landings -- they got so "commonplace" that people began to lose interest. There's some amazing science coming in from Mars over the last 3 years, but it's gotten so overwhelming that apparently, it's not even newsworthy. Interesting phenomenon.

I thought for sure that those were computer-generated from RADAR imagery at first, but it looks as if they're visible-light photographs. Pretty amazing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:38 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Devils Rancher,

Yes, they're taken with a stereo camera at visual wavelengths.
posted by lukemeister at 7:48 PM on July 16, 2008


The lack of comments here is akin to the later Apollo landings -- they got so "commonplace" that people began to lose interest.

At least in America, people are probably more interested in food and gas prices. That and NASA historically doing a shitty job of making this stuff look interesting to the general public.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:29 PM on July 16, 2008


NASA historically doing a shitty job of making this stuff look interesting to the general public

Well, it's better than ESA. I remember during the Cassini landing on Titan, the touchdown footage aired on the networks was essentially 5-10 minutes of bureaucrats watching the images come in, and then they put up a couple of crappy low-res shots for us plebes. I remember going out to Slashdot and found out where some people were circulating bootlegs of the quality, high-res stuff.
posted by tinkertown at 9:20 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh wow. That is some nice stuff.
posted by Artw at 9:42 PM on July 16, 2008


A compound high on the cliffs named Echus Overlook, of course, was a key location in the KSR Red-Green-Blue Mars trilogy.
posted by dhartung at 11:07 PM on July 16, 2008


they got so "commonplace" that people began to lose interest.

Actually, I was struck speechless by the photos. So I couldn't post. Yeah.

Seriously though, those are some amazing shots.

From the first link: The images can be viewed from different angles in three dimensions.

Oh Hell yes. I want to play with that.
posted by lekvar at 1:12 PM on July 17, 2008


Glad to see at least a few other people found these pictures as breathtaking as I did.

And dhartung, I was thinking the exact same thing. I loved that trilogy.
posted by tits mcgee at 5:35 PM on July 17, 2008


They aren't "real" real, though.
The images were created by combining pictures taken from different orbits. The images can be viewed from different angles in three dimensions.
They are combining a top-down photograph of the area with a height map, like in Google Earth. Which gives them in my eyes a slightly odd and synthetic feel.
It's still awesome, though (and I'd like to get my hands on the application they're using to rotate around in full 3D).
posted by ymgve at 6:50 PM on July 17, 2008


I'm still somewhat disappointed that ESA doesn't make their raw images publicly available (except, I think in a couple instances that were joint NSASA-ESA missions.)

A few years ago I actually emailed them asking where I could find the raw pictures from Mars Express, and was pretty disappointed when the reply was essentially "you can't."

Compare this to, for example, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor photo archive.
posted by agress at 7:55 PM on July 17, 2008


Ooooh, nice pictures. I like them.

AND, I learned that asteroids are "lumps of floating rock in space."

Ya learn something new every day. On a good day.
posted by bigbigdog at 10:16 PM on July 17, 2008


I do love the fact that "we" own NASA, and as such, the results and imagery from their missions it totally public domain. While they might not be the best at publicity, they've done a great job of accessibility as far as image archives. They're a treasure-trove of awesome wallpaper.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2008


We've managed to send cameras to other planets. And then get the pictures back.

That might sound sarcastic, but honestly, I'm having a bit of a moment over here.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:38 AM on July 18, 2008


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