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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Getting the most out of those first images from Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

06-08-2012 9:25 CDT

Topics: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

It's such a rare joy to be able to dive into the images returned from a brand-new mission. The very first images that come to Earth and get posted on the Web are usually of relatively poor quality compared to what comes later, and Curiosity's are no exception to that rule. That's okay; it just presents more of a challenge to the amateur image processing community to get the most out of those brand-new looks at a new place in the solar system.

I think that the prize for "Best Use of Ratty Early Image Data" on Curiosity (so far) goes to James Canvin, who took two versions of Curiosity's sol 0 rear hazcam photo (this one and this one), merged the foreground of one with the background of the other, and then de-fish-eyed the result to make this panoramic view of Curiosity's landing site, out to the rim of Gale crater, with the setting Sun overhead. Pretty spectacular, considering the starting material!

Highly processed version of Curiosity sol 0 rear hazcam image

NASA / JPL / James Canvin

Highly processed version of Curiosity sol 0 rear hazcam image
This photo, processed by James Canvin, wrings everything possible from two versions of a rear hazard avoidance camera photo taken by Curiosity shortly after landing.
See other posts from August 2012


Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)


Craig : 08/06/2012 09:52 CDT

and the best is yet to come

John: 08/06/2012 09:52 CDT

Nice work ! It certainly whets our appetites for the "good stuff" that will be making their way to Earth in the coming days ! Kudos to all involved. :)

LD: 08/06/2012 02:19 CDT

Check out HP's view from 1997 ;)

bware: 08/06/2012 02:25 CDT

WOW! Congrats to the EDL team and the designers and not least by any implications the teams who actually built and tested the spacecraft! FANTASTIC WORK! THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!

bware: 08/06/2012 02:40 CDT

Does anyone recognize the component in the right portion of the image? Thanks.

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