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April 12, 2003

MOC porn

April brings a new batch of hi-res images taken from the Mars Orbital Camera aboard the Mars Global Surveyor in its 6th year of orbiting the red planet. The captioned few are nice (especially those Wirtz Crater dunes) but if you're into Mars imaging, you'll be wearing out your tabbed browser at the full list. I've sifted through a few hundred (only a couple thousand to go) and below you'll find a few of my favorites so far.

(be warned, these are large images)
image 1 - the horse shoe in the middle caught my eye.
image 2 - really nice detail, especially at the southern rim of the crater.
image 3 - if you haven't seen dust devils on Mars yet, here's a nice one.
image 4 - a variety of textures.
image 5 - interesting crater floor structures.
image 6 - mandelbrot reminiscent.
image 7 - dunes in a trough.
image 8 - dunes in criss-crossed cracks.
image 9 - just a spectacular variety of structure and texture, from the washed out landslides at the top, through the liquid-like dunes down to a cracked and checked basin - a very cool photograph.
image 10 - ejecta, like tree rings.
image 11 - wonderful erosion close-up on the southern wall of the crater.
image 12 - this one has it all - great trenches, dunes, craters and lava flows.

I also noticed a couple of images with strange shadows that don't make a lot of sense. In this image, if you look about 1/5th of the way up from the bottom, just under and to the right of that prominent crater you'll see one of these unexplained shadows (cropped and edited version.) It appears to be several hundred meters long and must have come from some very tall and narrow object. A dust devil maybe? A narrow mesa? And there's another one in this image. Maybe it's just a trench or other scar but the lighting doesn't seem to match up for that.

Oh well, it's late and my eyes are tired. I'm getting to that point where my brain can't decide whether to see the image as a crater or as a dome. I guess it's time for bed.

Posted by asa at April 12, 2003 01:23 AM

Hey Asa; I'm lost on why you have "porn" in the title to this. Also, I must thank you for taking the time to post these shots; as a fellow blogger I know it's fairly time-consuming to post a blog entry with so many links.

Posted by: James Russell on April 13, 2003 03:54 AM

James, the reason I chose the word porn is because this catagory of images is to me what porn probably is to lots of other Web surfers :-) The new galleries get posted and I dive right in, spending hours loading up (literally) thousands of massive high-resolution images and pouring over them, one might even say "lustily", with a big grin on my face.

And you're welcome on the link postage. The folks at JPL and MSSS usually pick out a few really nice shots and crop and caption them pretty well but there are thousands that are never seen by even the avid space and exploration fans. The interfaces to all of this data, although quite usable, are really geared toward researchers and the sheer volume can be overwhelming. I've sifted through at least a couple thousand of the latest batch and my estimate is that about 50% are "interesting" to me as photographs (independent of their scientific value) and about 10% are just beautiful and I think belong in art galleries.

It's simply amazing to me that we have satellites in orbit around another planet sending back photos with 1.5 meter resolution. The Mars Orbital Camera, onboard the Mars Global Surveyor has provided me more hours of on-line entertainment than probably any other site with the exception of mozillaZine. It's my "porn".


I've got another bookmark group of photos that I'll probably turn into a blog post in the next few days.

Posted by: Asa on April 13, 2003 11:37 AM

it's a gr8 collection revealing kool pics.I have
keen interest on space. plz let me know abt any scope to explore it.currently i am doing engineering on computer sc & engg.


Posted by: utsab sarkar on September 1, 2003 02:30 PM

Thanks so much for your time and talent. This is a fantastic opportunity for us earthlings.

Posted by: Linda on September 1, 2003 05:13 PM

Thanks so much for your time and talent. This is a fantastic opportunity for us earthlings.

Posted by: on September 1, 2003 05:13 PM

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