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Mars Space Science

Terabytes of Mars Pictures Released to Public 137

Riding with Robots writes "The team that runs the high-rez camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has just released more than 1,200 Mars images to the Planetary Data System, NASA's mission data archive. The team has also released 1.7 Terabytes of data to a user-friendly site that allows users to quickly home in on each image, most of which are a gigabyte-sized files measuring 20,000 by 50,000 pixels. Not all the images have been thoroughly studied yet: in the announcement, the camera's lead scientist said, 'These images must contain hundreds of important discoveries about Mars. We just need time to realize what they are.'"
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Terabytes of Mars Pictures Released to Public

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  • by 0.693 ( 989477 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:07PM (#19385557)
    Pictures of the faces on the surfaces! It's a conspiracy. They didn't land a man on the moon, but there is Jesus on Mars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That would explain the Bush Administration's emphasis on a manned mission to Mars.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by jollyreaper ( 513215 )

        That would explain the Bush Administration's emphasis on a manned mission to Mars.
        I thought it was because we had to fight the Martians there so we wouldn't have to fight them here.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:32PM (#19386691) Journal
      Pictures of the faces on the surfaces! It's a conspiracy. They didn't land a man on the moon, but there is Jesus on Mars.

      With so many images in the public hands, there are bound to be some interesting "patterns" found that will generate gajillion conspiracy theories. Even with the Viking landers that returned only a limited amount of images, people found letters on rocks. With the rovers, people are finding skulls and lots of other doodads. With even more images out there, there are likely to be even more coincidental shapes found. The more patterns available to search, the more coincidental iconic images will be found. Maybe they'll find Elvis tap dancing with Jesus under a pyrimid. This raises a hugely important question: How do I buy stock in conspiracy books?
           
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lawpoop ( 604919 )

        With the rovers, people are finding skulls and lots of other doodads.
        Hey, that's pretty cool. It seems like that's pretty convincing evidence of life on Mars.
        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )
          [With the rovers, people are finding skulls and lots of other doodads.]
          Hey, that's pretty cool. It seems like that's pretty convincing evidence of life on Mars.


          It's not exactly a multi-angle close-up. I'll let you decide for yourself:

          http://www.marsanomalyresearch.com/evidence-report s/2006/102/mars-humanoid-skull.htm [marsanomalyresearch.com]
          • by lawpoop ( 604919 )
            I was joking. I left out a sarcasm tag ;)

            Actually, it looks more like a worn-down astronaut or space-marine helmet. Do you see the connectors for the oxygen tubes on the sides? Tantalizing! Tell me, mister scientist, exactly what natural process puts eye-holes and oxygen-tube connectors in helmets? :)
        • Hey, that's pretty cool. It seems like that's pretty convincing evidence of life on Mars.

          I'd say it's evidence of death on Mars.

      • How do I buy stock in conspiracy books?

        I'm not sure about books, but you can't go wrong with either this [google.com] or this [google.com].

    • When I onMouseOver the graphic on the Arizona page, it switches a broken image. I hope NASA imagery works a little better than the grad students from ASU.
  • Google Mars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekmansworld ( 950281 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:08PM (#19385567) Homepage
    Does this mean we can look forward to a new, improved Google Mars?
    • meh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Aqua_boy17 ( 962670 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:17PM (#19385701)
      I personally think I'll wait for the Google street level view. Then maybe we'll be able to catch the 'Face' on Mars walking out of a porn shop.
    • I had no idea there already was a Google mars (www.google.com/mars) until today
      • by freakmn ( 712872 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:40PM (#19386867) Journal
        That's nothing. Check out Google Moon [google.com], and it gives you a detailed map of the moon with place markers for the landings from the Apollo Missions. It's so detailed, in fact, that if you zoom in all the way, you can see the very material that the moon is made from! It's amazing to see, so check it out yourself!
        • That was great, thanks for pointing this website out. I can't help but wonder, though, why is it that we are provided with high-resolution imagery from another planet, but not of our own moon... It really pushes me to believe all those website that talk about moon structures.
    • Google and NASA could get together on this, and have a feature in which registered users could pin intresting areas and send the location info to astronomers. Maybe the face on Mars' covered side was hiding a hand picking it's noze? Inquiring minds want to know!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by scottp ( 129048 )
      Maybe, and perhaps Mr. Tim Ankers can use these photos with his Merlindown software mentioned here [slashdot.org] to find signs of Martians and their crashed saucers from the comfort of his chair.
    • by jd ( 1658 )
      With that many libraries of congress of data? Well, first there must be a New, Improved Mars - well, we've got to put all those Libraries of Congress somewhere.
    • by ross.w ( 87751 )
      Yay! I'll be able to see rocks on Mars better than I can see my own street. Probably more up to date as well.
  • Let the Data mining begin :)
    • Re:Data! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by magarity ( 164372 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:19PM (#19385727)
      Exactly; there are hundreds of thousands of quite knowledgeable amateur astronomers who will pour over these images. What a great way to find interesting things more quickly and with bandwidth fees your only budget. But I missed the link for 'submit your interesting findings here.'
    • Why should Data go mining? An android like that could do something far more interesting...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wait, nevermind...
  • All that hard drvie space could be used for porn!

  • NOW we know what a home user needs Terabytes of storage for. NAS for everyone!
  • by realisticradical ( 969181 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:10PM (#19385611) Homepage
    Bah, obviously they're fake like the moon landing. They're covering for the real reason we went, to spy on the great Martian civilizations.
  • by WaZiX ( 766733 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:10PM (#19385617)
    And the site posted on Slashdot?

    Bye Bye server!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bdjacobson ( 1094909 )

      And the site posted on Slashdot?

      Bye Bye server!
      This would be perfect for a torrent.
      • Torrents aren't as useful as they could be for this - it depends on how many people are looking at the same files. It'll at least help with their selection of more popular images, but if the average file is a gig, and they've got 1700 of them, then the number of people simultaneously opening any particular one isn't as high as Bittorrent might like. On the other hand, torrents plus an auto-updated list of today's most popular downloads might work, especially if people keep their clients open.

        They're also

        • We looked into using torrents as a distribution mechanism, and ultimately abandoned it for exactly the reasons you suggest. It just didn't look like there would be enough peers for each image to make it viable. So we turned to the jpeg2000 jpip protocol, which actually works quite well, and so far, the jpip servers seem to be handling the load even better than we expected. Of course, the irritating part is the lack of ubiquitous and stable client software that knows how to speak the jpip protocol, but if

        • A question about Bittorrent... if a given torrent has 1 seed and 1 peer, does it simplify to the exact same as a direct HTTP download (given that neither are throttled, etc.)?
          • No, it's still running the full bit-torrent protocol, but it's pretty efficient because it's spending almost all of its time sending chunks of data, not tracking overhead. So you don't lose much, and if a second receiver comes on, it ramps up really fast.
    • They hope that if the files are just large enough, no one will try to download them :)

      In the case the server goes down: Anyone got a .torrent?
  • by VidEdit ( 703021 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:11PM (#19385633)
    " 'These images must contain hundreds of important discoveries about Mars. We just need time to realize what they are.'" ...er, and discover them.
    • by u-bend ( 1095729 )
      If a discovery occurs on an empty Martian landscape, and no one's there to see it, is it really a discovery? Whew, this science story is really putting the philosophical back in natural philosophy.
      • by rhizome ( 115711 )
        If a discovery occurs on an empty Martian landscape, and no one's there to see it, is it really a discovery?

        It depends on whether the discovery involves oil or not.
    • "You see, there are known knowns and known unknowns. But we didn't know about the unknown knowns until they were known. The face on Mars is a known known, but why it's there is a known uknown. So, there are 1.7 terabyes of data full of known unknowns that hopefully will become known knowns. But as to when we'll get the time to do that, that's a known unknown."
      - D. Rumsfeld, NASA Spokesman
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by andphi ( 899406 )
      At last, the elusive second step:

      1) Take pictures of other planets
      2) release pictures to geeks
      3) Scienc^H^H^H^H^H^HProfit!
  • by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:13PM (#19385653)
    Oh, that's just great... Now The Terrorists will know where to put their Martian bombz.
  • Stress test (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:13PM (#19385657)
    Terrabytes of data, linked to slashdot...seriously what could go wrong?
  • Fake! (Score:4, Funny)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:15PM (#19385673)
    Those fotos are all fake: NASA setup a Mars stage on the Moon, and colored it red in Photo Shop. They used Total Recal as a referens!!

    Such obvios scam, I can't believe youv fallen for it, guyz!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      Those fotos are all fake: NASA setup a Mars stage on the Moon

      This previos statement of main, makes it look as if I actually said NASA went to the Moon. But you didn't read between the lines:

      What I mean is, the stage on the Moon is fake too, so they in fact setup the Mars stage on the Moon stage on Earth.

      As a proof: desaturate the "Mars" fotos: observ, they look as if shot on the Moon. Now look at the original fotos, play Total Recal. They are both red.

      Now colorize the photos and put blue sky: they look like
  • /. ed (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:18PM (#19385715)
    Anybody have a mirror up yet?
  • ...of pixels.
    • ...of pixels.


      Well, there may be billions of pixels, but I am having some sort of transfer problem, so all I see is a pale red dot. I mean, with all I'm seeing, I have to wonder if we actually sent any space ships to Mars, or if they were all just pretend Space Ships of the Imagination...
    • by rHBa ( 976986 )
      So, how big a monitor do I need to have one of these images as my wallpaper?
      • by tedgyz ( 515156 ) *

        So, how big a monitor do I need to have one of these images as my wallpaper?
        On average, 25% more than last year's floor model.

  • I SEE JOHN CARTER! I SEE JOHN CARTER!!

    Ooh, and Ransom is over there with the giant manatee-things...

    Ummm...someone needs to toss Arnie a oxygen mask, or something, his eyes look funny...

    And what are those funny-looking explosions...ah, nothing, just volcanoes.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:23PM (#19385795) Homepage
    ...we see some really interesting images pointed out indicating just about anything imaginable. :) If every hispanic sees Jesus in a tortilla or the bark of a tree, there's bound to be interesting things on Mars's surface too. I'd like to see someone hack into the sites hosting the images, photoshop some 'aliens' in there and over-write the originals. :) That'd be too funny.
    • by Sciros ( 986030 )
      Possibly some "animal tracks" around those giant pitch-black caves that they've shown photos of. That would be so awesome.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:29PM (#19385867)
    It's funny that freely available satellite images of Mars have greater resolution than freely available images of Earth.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by symbolset ( 646467 )
      Yeah, it's almost as if the images of Earth had been derezzed for some reason...
      • Yeah, it's almost as if the images of Earth had been derezzed for some reason...

        They were...the cameras on the satellites are not Microsoft Vista Approved.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FleaPlus ( 6935 )
      It's funny that freely available satellite images of Mars have greater resolution than freely available images of Earth.

      Actually, I wonder how much of that is due to the fact that Mars has a much thinner atmosphere than Earth, which blurs satellite photographs less.
      • by JetJaguar ( 1539 )
        Well, the effects of atmospheric turbulence is somewhat less, but we still have the weather to deal with, eg. dust storms, and during the winters of each respective hemisphere the high latitudes tend to be socked in with clouds, making imaging there pretty much impossible. In fact, there are some images in this release that suffer from clouds, fog, and/or haze. A few of them were so bad that we didn't even bother to fully process the images into a stitched mosaic and just released them "raw."
    • It's even funnier than that. About 8 years ago I found and downloaded imagemaps of all the planets (including a nice artistic one for Pluto), as well as several of the larger moons and using POV-Ray, wrapped them around spheres with some nice shadow, and printed them out on sticker stock to mount on the walls of my son's bedroom. They turned out really well, and in fact are still there, although the kids have since switched rooms. Anyhow, the one planet I couldn't find an imagemap for was Earth. I searc
  • if only nasa would follow an 'open source' attitude similar to FSF and GNU/Linux, we'd be on mars in a couple of years. The 'keep everyone in the dark' attitude may have served a purpose during the cold war ... but now seems a little dated. of course, releasing these photos is a start. however, they could have had that start long ago....

    just my two cents.
    • What? What sort of bloody stupid comment is that then? Pretty much everyone qualified in the fields involved in getting people to mars already works for or with Nasa or the ESA, etc. Unless you think that Joe Sixpack has anything constructive to say on building a spaceship? I can assume that's a thinly veiled karma-whore attempt; if I'm wrong, please do elaborate.
      • Pretty much everyone qualified in the fields involved in getting people to mars already works for or with Nasa or the ESA,

        because the wright brothers were the only qualified aeronautical engineers of their time. wtf.

        ever heard that expression of "another set of eyes can catch more mistakes"? if you have 100,000 to 1,000,000 people (although untrained) sifting through photos, and documents, don't you think that we'd start having a 'industrial revolution' all over again, for space? kind of like when we (t
    • by teridon ( 139550 )
      Your post shows a complete lack of knowledge of how release of NASA technologies works.

      NASA would LOVE for you to take their work and turn it into a new product or business. They have a whole office dedicated to it. See http://www.ip.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

      Also, NASA already does have several open source applications (maybe you've heard of World Wind???), see http://opensource.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]
  • TV tells me Megatron is there, and TV never lies.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @03:38PM (#19385973)
    I thought we had Terrabytes of Earth pictures. Wouldn't we have Marsbytes of Mars pics?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      They probably converted the units so to be better understood: Marsbytes * (510,065,600 km^2 Terran surface)/(144,798,465 km^2 Martian surface) = Terrabytes I mean, what earthling wants to do that in their head while they read the article?
      • Earth : Terrabytes :: Mars : Areobytes

        'Marsbytes', sheesh! Why, in my day we had Greek and Latin from age 5, and we liked it! Monolingual kids of today will never know the pleasure I had reciting Xenophon's dialogue with Ovid as I trudged uphill to school in the snow. O tempora! O mores!

  • I wonder how many people will try to look for sunbathing girls in here.
    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )
      Perhaps you should upgrade. Macbooks (and Pros) beat any Powerbook ever made. Asshole.
  • Excellent (Score:3, Funny)

    by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <`ten.enilnotpo' `ta' `rehtorgw'> on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:00PM (#19386247) Journal

    Now we can begin planning the full-scale invasion of Mars! We'll give them pesky green-skins what fer!!

  • My professor that I am working under has been studying images here [msss.com] for the past few years. Whatever you might gain from these other images is not likely to be that much more than what was already publicly available. I personally haven't been doing any work on these, as I am just coding a side project for him, but from what he's told me, its not very useful to have these images without any kind of elevation model, using stereographic cameras or lasers and such (from a structural geology point of view).
  • Hmmm... one terabyte at an optimistic 2 Mbps is...

    1 terabyte = 8.79609302 × 10^12 bits
    (8.79609302 × (10^12)) / 2 000 000 = 4 398 046.51 seconds.
    4 398 046.51 / 3 600 = 1 221.67959 hours.

    (thanks google)

    Well, maybe it'd be quicker if I just browse the site online.

  • JPEG2000 (Score:4, Informative)

    by teridon ( 139550 ) on Monday June 04, 2007 @04:33PM (#19386713) Homepage
    The images are in the (unpopular?) JPEG2000 format; you'll probably need a special viewer to see them. See their FAQ from the google cache [209.85.165.104] (since the site may go down...)

    If you're using Windows, the FAQ claims that IrfanView will work -- but I never had any luck with it. Despite having 2GB of memory in my computer, I always got an "out of memory" error when attempting to load the ~500MB images. The plugin from Expressview worked for me.

  • I for one welcome our new hoards of conspiracy-finding overlords.
  • From the Nasa site: "The node provides to the NASA planetary science community the digital image archives, necessary ancillary data sets, software tools, and technical expertise necessary to fully utilize the vast collection of digital planetary imagery."

    OK, so the images will eventually be available to me once the Arizona site recovers, but where are the necessary ancillary data sets? I was expecting the necessary ancillary data sets!

    I probably need a healthy dose of technical expertise, too. Anyone ou

  • I hope no one needs to call me on my landline for the next ... oh ... 15 years.

  • I figure it will be tonight... Richard C. Hoagland will come on the radio show Coast to Coast AM and comment how great it is that they've released these images to the public that funded them and if not tonight, within a week will have found a rock that looks like a Martian refrigerator. Then he will find another section that is blocked out that he's sure NASA is covering up, and will want the audience to call, fax, and write to get them released...
    Any takers?
  • I'm surprised they released it. National security and all.
  • I can't wait for Richard Hoagland to get ahold of these. Then the real truth will come out! Imagine all the rocks which vaguely resemble man made objects he'll find.
  • This is the kind of thing you really have to respect the NASA people for - ESA sits on their data for ages and releases little dribbles when it suits them - NASA puts it all out there. I suspect their policy hasn't cost anyone a single publication.

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