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Tuckerfan
2004-Jan-20, 04:55 AM
Okay someone spotted something that they thought might be Mars's moons in the Spirit images. Anybody know? http://uplink.space.com/attachments//642743-marssky.jpg

Espritch
2004-Jan-20, 05:01 AM
Looks more like dust on the lense to me. Mars's moons are pretty small. I doubt they would show up in the day time.

Ian Goddard
2004-Jan-20, 05:58 AM
The most likely explanation is specks of dust/sand on the lense as Espritch notes. Another explanation might be that Mars has two very small odd-shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos (http://cmex-www.arc.nasa.gov/cmex/data/Sitecat/sitecat2/moons.htm). They can appear in the sky at the same time.

Ian Goddard
2004-Jan-20, 06:16 AM
Here's a good image of Mars' tiny satellite Deimos:

http://www.seasky.org/solarsystem/images/deimos01_sk12.jpg (http://www.seasky.org/solarsystem/sky3e3.html)

Notice how irregular its shape is. Perhaps the upper "object" in the thread-leading image is Deimos, God of Panic flanked by Mars' second satellite Phobos, God of Fear! :o

But looking at the original image (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/f/012/2F127436154EFF0309P1003L0M1.JPG), perhaps the best explanation is digital noise.

Jpax2003
2004-Jan-20, 07:55 AM
Could it be Opportunity on approach?

It does not seem to be dust on the lense, I would expect dust to be too blurry as it would be out of focus. But without knowing the cameras vitals I can not know for sure. But this is a very low resolution grayscale image with obvious artifacting from compression. The wide angle of the lens also is distorting the image. A color version would give more information.

What I want to know is who spent all that time looking over the image to see if it had specks in it? Woo Hoos again?

Nanoda
2004-Jan-20, 01:18 PM
It's not Opportunity. That's only about the size of a satellite, and you don't see them here in the daytime, and they're just in orbit.

That picture is from Sol 12, Front Hazcam (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_f012.html). I can't see squat in that little picture, but in the larger one, there's also a third "speck" on the far left.

Now, there are plenty of ways to analyze these (are they dropped data? are they introduced before or after image compression? When does image compression occur? On the rover or at JPL?)

But I sadly don't have to go that far. If you take a look, the same 3 specks are in that photo (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/f/012/2F127436154EFF0309P1003L0M1.JPG) and this one (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/f/012/2F127428321EFF0300P1003L0M1.JPG) from the same day.

Taking a look at the image archives, the 3 specks are only sometimes there. But if you decode the image URL (JPL has the key someplace, but it's late so you find it), you can see that the specks only appear on the left front hazcam images. Last step, load up a couple of the large images in a modern tabbed browser (ahem (http://www.mozilla.org)) or in separate windows somehow, and perform some flicker-analysis between them. The specks are always there, and never move.

In fact, it looks like they've been there from day 1, make what you will of that. But it's certainly an issue with the camera, not anything else.

(Sorry about being pedantic, but I don't want any backtalk from any woo-woos. :wink: ) Hmm. If it weren't 6am, I'd go looking for similar problems on the other 5 cameras.

Phobos
2004-Jan-21, 12:03 AM
Oi !

Has someone been taking sneaky photos of me again ? [-X

Squink
2004-Jan-21, 01:09 AM
Ummm, why would the moons of Mars show up as black specks on a light sky? Isn't the atmosphere closer to the camera than the sunlit surfaces of the moonlets?
The spots are probably due to dust on the camera lens.

Nanoda
2004-Jan-21, 07:31 AM
Hrm. It appears my above post has exceeded the too-long-won't-read-it character limit. :-?

This one will be shorter, and will contain only me saying that I believe I've conclusively demonstrated three posts above that those specks are due to camera dust, internal flaws, whatever.

jest
2004-Jan-21, 07:51 AM
Looks more like Attack Of The Photoshoppers.

John Kierein
2004-Jan-23, 12:27 PM
The reason you can't see satellites in the daytime is because the earth's day sky is bright and blue from scattering. I think you could see a satellite around the moon if you were on the moon in daylight. Mars' atmosphere is so slight that maybe you COULD see a satellite in daylight??
Somebody help me here.

DustBreeding
2004-Jan-23, 01:14 PM
Maybe its just dead-pixels in the cameras? I doubt it's anything to do with compression, I can't imagine what kind of compression scheme would produce artifacts like that!

jest
2004-Jan-23, 01:21 PM
Maybe its just dead-pixels in the cameras? I doubt it's anything to do with compression, I can't imagine what kind of compression scheme would produce artifacts like that!

On the other hand.. just because some anomaly in a picture is SHAPED like a UFO (a word which most people immediately associate with aliens even if UFO technically means nothing of the sort if you thought about the three words that make up that acronym), doesn't mean it's actually something big chunk of alien technology in the distance flying through the air. If everything that LOOKED like a UFO/flaying saucer were actually the case, then there'd be a lot of aliens at the beach. :D

Phobos
2004-Mar-28, 10:30 AM
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39901000/jpg/_39901016_nasa_203.jpg

There was this story on the BBC News website headed "UFO streaks through Martian sky"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3520636.stm


The US Spirit rover on Mars has seen a UFO streak across the Red Planet sky.
Astronomers say it could be the first meteor seen from the surface of another world, or a redundant orbiting spacecraft sent to Mars 30 years ago.

"We may never know, but we are still looking for clues," said Dr Mark Lemmon, from Texas A&M University.

Whatever it was, Spirit was lucky to catch sight of the UFO as the rover's main mission is to look downwards to study rocks and soil on the planet.

Unidentified Object

Only occasionally does it raise its sights towards the sky to study the atmosphere of Mars.

But it was on just such an occasion when Spirit was observing the sky with the green filter of its panoramic camera that the roving geologist came across the surprise - a streak across the peach-coloured Martian heavens.

Mission controllers say the streak was probably the brightest object in the sky at the time.

If the UFO was not a shooting a star then it could have been one of seven out-of-commission spacecraft that still orbit Mars.

From the object's motion, scientists do not think it was the Russian probes Mars 2, Mars 3, Mars 5, or Phobos 2; or the American probes Mariner 9 or Viking 1.

That leaves Viking 2, which has a polar orbit that would fit with the north-south orientation of the streak.

In addition, only Viking 1 and 2 are in orbits that could produce the type of motion as fast as that seen by Spirit

Gregg_Evans
2004-Mar-29, 04:26 AM
Oh no!!! This is another one that will show up on Hoaxlands site soon, anyone wanna bet?

G

carolyn
2004-Mar-29, 05:07 PM
The reason you can't see satellites in the daytime is because the earth's day sky is bright and blue from scattering. I think you could see a satellite around the moon if you were on the moon in daylight. Mars' atmosphere is so slight that maybe you COULD see a satellite in daylight??
Somebody help me here.

Sounds logical to me, our fair planet's atmosphere is thick (ish) and mars is not (as) so you could see more during the daytime - no?- less to look through?

ToSeek
2004-Jun-29, 08:09 PM
Mars UFO is a meteor (http://www.space.com/astronotes/astronotes.html)

carolyn
2004-Jun-30, 06:29 AM
there you go then, problem solved :D intersting artical by the way. Back to marking :roll:

ToSeek
2005-Mar-17, 06:08 PM
Spirit spots a meteor? (http://www.spacedaily.com/images/mars-mera-sol426-meteor-desk-1024.jpg)

01101001
2005-Mar-17, 07:47 PM
Spirit spots a meteor? (http://www.spacedaily.com/images/mars-mera-sol426-meteor-desk-1024.jpg)

JPL Site: Spirit :: Panoramic Camera :: Sol 426 (http://origin.mars5.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit_p426.html)

This? (http://origin.mars5.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/p/426/2P164187062EDNA8B3P2623L4M1.HTML)
http://origin.mars5.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/p/426/2P164187062EDNA8B3P2623L4M1-THM.JPG (http://origin.mars5.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/p/426/2P164187062EDNA8B3P2623L4M1.HTML)

Lyle.org (image (http://www.lyle.org/mars/imagery/2P164187062EDNA8B3P2623L4M1.JPG.html)) computes it as 12:57:36 local time. That's kind of early in the day for a meteorite. Is the sky dark enough?