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Mars NASA Space Science

NASA Will Crowdsource Its Photos of Mars 66

Posted by timothy
from the find-waldo-win-a-shuttle-main-engine dept.
tedlistens writes "NASA is asking the public to suggest subjects for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, its super powerful camera currently orbiting Mars. Since it arrived there in 2006, the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has seen more success than that lost lander, recording nearly 13,000 observations of Martian terrain, with each image covering dozens of square miles and revealing details as small as a desk. By letting the public in on the Martian photo shoot, scientists aren't just getting more people excited about space exploration. They're hoping that crowdsourcing imaging targets will increase the camera's already bountiful science return. Despite the thousands of pictures already taken, less than 1 percent of the Martian surface has been imaged."
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NASA Will Crowdsource Its Photos of Mars

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  • Find Dr Manhattan and that cool floating ice scupture thing of his.
    • by Cryacin (657549)
      A little green man!

      ...

      No... that's just a dog...
    • Since they are now claiming its possible to notice things as small as a Desk,

      They need to send one of these up around the moon and prove the moon lander is there.

      I don't know would be more annoying - finding out its faked or seeing conspiracy theorists reject it as evidence.

      • by maxume (22995)

        You have weird priorities.

        I would be outraged to learn that the landings were fake and don't care what fringe lunatics have to say.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Since they are now claiming its possible to notice things as small as a Desk

        Good. That might go a long way in explaining where my supervisor has been hiding for the last month.

      • Re:Second Priority (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:48PM (#30839202) Homepage

        They need to send one of these up around the moon and prove the moon lander is there.

        I'm not sure how that's supposed to be better evidence than the presence of mirrors for laser range-finding placed there by the astronauts that a variety of institutions around the world have used to measure the earth-moon distance (and of course in the process verifying their presence) would be.

        I don't know would be more annoying - finding out its faked or seeing conspiracy theorists reject it as evidence.

        Annoying? If the probe provided evidence that the landings were "faked", meaning we could no longer see the landers that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged only months ago [nasa.gov] that wouldn't be annoying. It'd be one of the most baffling mysteries in modern history!

        The question wouldn't be "does this mean we never landed on the moon?", it'd be "who landed on the moon without telling anyone and stole the fucking landers?!"

        Oh and obviously if the conspiracy theorists are not satisfied with the existing evidence, they will never be satisfied, because they simply don't want to be satisfied.

        • by sznupi (719324)

          Don't use the presence of laser mirrors as evidence, they can be as well placed there by unmanned probes (as Lunokhods, for example, certainly did)

          As a matter of fact, don't even try too hard to convince those people - as you said, they don't even want evidence of any kind.

        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          Annoying? If the probe provided evidence that the landings were "faked", meaning we could no longer see the landers that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged only months ago [nasa.gov] that wouldn't be annoying. It'd be one of the most baffling mysteries in modern history!

          The question wouldn't be "does this mean we never landed on the moon?", it'd be "who landed on the moon without telling anyone and stole the fucking landers?!"

          Brennan. He does [wikipedia.org] things like that. All he needs to have had done will be to w

        • by calanor (1653819)
          even india's chandrayaan has confirmed the trip to moon was NOT faked, so you can stop this conspiracy bullshit
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I don't know would be more annoying - finding out its faked or seeing conspiracy theorists reject it as evidence.

        Well, until someone can refute the Lunar Laser Ranging [wikipedia.org] data (and do it using actual science instead of wacky conspiracy logic), I'm still putting my money on the landing being real.

        If you could fake the lunar laser ranging stuff ... well, you'd have made it to the moon, actually. And, you'd have installed retroreflectors exactly where they are supposed to be.

        What with the known speed of light an

        • by sznupi (719324)

          No, no, no. There is even link on the page you provided, leading to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_programme [wikipedia.org]
          Which also carried laser raging experiment.

          Just accept that the reasons for conspiracy theorists doing what they do don't have much in common with the "big affair" at hand (other then that it's "big")

    • Here you go, start looking... http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/welcome/ [nasa.gov]
      Right now you can help look for crater or map mars.
      • by 680x0 (467210)

        What a bunch of losers! NASA is spending my tax dollars on crap that relies on M$ Silverlight.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by TubeSteak (669689)

        Is it really all that useful having 100,000 people with zero technical experience or knowledge looking at these pictures?
        We might be able to identify gross features, but the nuances will be glossed over entirely.

        But if it doesn't require any technical knowledge, NASA should start pumping out lesson plans and get school kids do the bulk of the dirty work.

        • Finding craters is easy all you have to do if find circles in the pictures, and I very much doubt the NASA only goes on the work of the public. Mapping all you have to do in line up a picture on a larger picture, I know real technical, but it may be to hard for you. Finding circle and matching patterns, how much experience do you need?
          You know people with zero technical experience find stuff on google maps all the time.
    • by amn108 (1231606)

      Since you believe in fantasy anyway, why not wish for finding (and returning to owner - you) the Silk Spectre II. Without Dr. Manhattan - far too reliable.

  • Umm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by verbalcontract (909922) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @04:56PM (#30838396)
    ...NASA has heard of 4chan, right? I don't want to see thousands of "crowdsourced" pictures of the robot's crotch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      They apparently hadn't heard of Stephen Colbert when they wanted to name the recent ISS module.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)

        Sure the had, one of the stipulations on the internet poll was that it wasn't final.

        They named the COLBERT after him because it was good publicity.

  • ESA Mars Webcam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @04:57PM (#30838416) Homepage

    There's a similar thing going on for some time on ESA Mars Express mission, where public is invited to participate in obtaining, processing, etc. of images taken with a camera that was meant originally to observe Beagle separation.

    http://www.esa.int/esaMI/VMC/index.html [esa.int]

  • Wait.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:13PM (#30838686)

    They've found desks on Mars?!

    • by V50 (248015)

      It all makes sense now...

      Bureaucracy KILLED the Martians!

      • by skine (1524819)

        It all makes sense now...

        Bureaucracy KILLED the Martians!

        Well, they thought that bureaucracy was killing them, so they sent the B-Ark to Earth.

        The other two-thirds led full, rich and happy lives until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.

        • by skine (1524819)

          Apparently I left off a / (inserting something so it doesn't look like I meant /.).

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Don't be silly. It can only see objects the approximate size of desks. For example refrigerators or golf carts, of which there are plenty. No desks have been found yet though.

    • by RockWolf (806901)

      They've found desks on Mars?!

      There's definitely no intelligent life on Mars, then. Just paper-pushers.

      Or whatever it is they use instead of paper.

  • 13,000 pictures of the surface of mars, and still no clear photos of the aliens. It's a coverup I tell you. The government doesn't want us to know the truth [iwatchstuff.com]! They're hiding it [iwatchstuff.com] until they can take these natural resources for themselves [interviewmagazine.com]. It's the man taking away from us what rightfully belongs to all of us! If you let them get their way, well, just be left with these [thesun.co.uk].

  • Suggestion (Score:1, Troll)

    by cashman73 (855518)
    Why not buy a rocket, round up Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, put them in it, blast it off towards Mars, and have it crash land, scattering their corpses' body parts across the Martian plains, and take a picture of that. I bet I could find quite a few people that would pay good money to see that,...
  • If they've imaged 1% of the surface of Mars, then my vote for new pictures would be (drum roll..................!) the OTHER 99% Thank you - no applause, please.
  • So, what, are we gonna end up with like 10,000 photos of the face on Mars, or the "pyramids"?

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      What, haven't any nutjobs found Martian images of Moses or Mary or Mohammed or Moroni or Manson that they want a closer look at?

  • Find The Beagle2! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Kudos to the first person to find the Beagle2 (or the crater it made)

    Sort of like finding Waldo on a much bigger scale.

  • by Jeff1946 (944062) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:55PM (#30839284) Journal

    Remember there is a lot to cover. Mars has a similar land area to Earth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:06PM (#30839432)
    The Phoenix Lander was extremely successful. It found exactly what it was sent to look for. I don't know any better definition of success that that. It was never designed to survive the winter... they are just looking to see if somehow it did. The writer should be a little less cavalier.
    • Agreed, and why the downmod for the AC? He has a point, referring to the Phoenix as, 'that lost lander' seems a bit disrespectful. The Phoenix Lander [wikipedia.org] completed its mission successfully in August of 2008. It gathered the science and data it was designed to and transmitted it back to Earth successfully. Everything that happened with the lander post 08/2008 is actually a continuation of the mission. One could make the case that the lander outperformed its design goals just like the rovers both did as it didn'
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @01:21AM (#30842928) Homepage

      That's all true but I can't act surprised when they name their lander the Phoenix and some people are disappointed when it looks like it isn't going to rise from the dead. :)

      • by Ihlosi (895663)
        That's all true but I can't act surprised when they name their lander the Phoenix and some people are disappointed when it looks like it isn't going to rise from the dead. :)

        Phoenixes don't tolerate low temperatures all that well.

  • with each image covering dozens of square miles and revealing details as small as a desk.

    Yes, the desk please. I expect John Cleese will be sitting at it saying, "And now for something completely different."

  • Just do the rest (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:56PM (#30840100)

    Are they trying to suggest that only about 1% of Mars is obviously interesting to Martian scientists? There's really nothing else they know they want to look at? Okay sure, the PR could be a good thing and they might get some cool suggestions, but honestly:

    - Pictures of the rovers
    - Pictures of the canals
    - Pictures of the mountains
    - Pictures of the ice caps

    Outside of that, everything is just "more red sand." Nobody really cares which small portion of the planet it is as long as they get cool desktop photos in a handy resolution (1680x1050, please). Do your own damn work and figure out what deserves to be photographed.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Uh, no, they're saying that the 13,000 pictures already taken only represent 1% of the surface of Mars. The point is that it'd take a LOT of pictures to completely image the surface.

      • Yeah. But why would they need ideas for what should be next?

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Oh. Well, the article doesn't say specifically what they hope to gain from user submissions, but I can guess. I'm sure the astronomers already have some subjects in mind. But the fact is that Mars is really big despite being smaller than earth, and you could probably spend your whole life looking at low-res photos of the surface identifying things you might want to take a closer look at. There's so much of the planet that we simply haven't looked at closely, that it's easy to imagine amateurs poking aro

  • Just waiting for the Google Mars upgrade.

    • by ashitaka (27544)

      A bit sad to think that there will be places on Mars that we will have a better view of than ones on earth.

      My mother-in-law's house in Japan, for example.

      Maybe that's a good thing...

  • I suggest they photograph a Martian city.
    Then keep an eye on the shipyards.
  • Glass worms of Mars (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nonillion (266505)

    How about some hi res images of the glass worms of Mars http://www.enterprisemission.com/can.htm [enterprisemission.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are already plenty of pictures of those, including even some [nasa.gov] from [nasa.gov] HiRISE [nasa.gov]. Zoom in all you like on those pictures. They are much more detailed than the MGS ones. Contrary to the interpretations of the "Enterprise Mission" guys, these structures are clearly just dunes in the bottom of canyons, as people have previously suggested. They are all over the place on Mars.

      The real problem is, the Enterprise guys don't know how to interpret aerial photography and integrate it with other information very wel

  • Just put a naked photo of Jessica Alba in the foreground.
  • I don't really get the point of this. The goal should be to map the entire surface of the planet using a system that maximizes each pass as much as possible. Crowd sourcing the poking around for interesting details is fine once you have those pictures, but people are only going to be interested in doing this for a short while. Having them work on low-res proxies for the short duration of their interest is failing to utilize their energy properly, imho.

    What I'm saying is that if responding to user reque

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