After seeing all the amazing imagery so far from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, I know everyone wants to go there and take in the visual treats of Gale Crater. With the help of a 360-degree panorama you can virtually explore Curiosity’s landing site; sort of like a Martian version of Google’s Street View.
Take a martian minute to explore the panorama at 360pano.eu.
Photographer Andrew Bodrov stitched together images from Curiosity’s navigation cameras to create the panorama. “After seeing some of the stitches of Curiosity’s images at NASA’s website, I decided to stitch the panorama myself,” Bodrov told Universe Today.
He uses PTGui panoramic stitching software from New House Internet Services BV (http://www.ptgui.com) to create the 360-degree view of the mountains and sky surrounding the car-sized rover that successfully landed on Mars on August 6th.
“We developed all four cameras around a common architecture so the choice of sensor was hedged across all of them. We wanted to be able to capture high frame rates, particularly with the descent camera. We also looked at a 4MP sensor but it would have run around half as fast. And the state of CMOS sensors wasn’t credible in 2004. They’re an interesting option now, but they weren’t then.”
I also celebrate NASA/JPL for how visible women were as part of this extraordinary event. Several times on the livestream last night people made reference to kids looking at the launch of the Mars Curiosity and seeing possibilities for themselves in STEM - and thanks to a number of prominent women on the team, little girls will see a path to space for themselves too.
There were six members of the JPL team in the control room for the launch. In no particular order, they were:
Pauline Hwang, Deputy Integrated Planning & Execution Team Chief
Erisa Hines, Attitude Control System Engineer
Ann Devereaux, EDL Flight System Engineer
Kelly Clarke, Deputy Realtime Operations Team Chief/GDS Engineer
Leslie Livesay, Director for the Engineering and Science Directorate
Nagin Cox, Assistant Flight System System Engineering Manager
…and present in rehearsal (unsure what role she had at launch; confirming)
Tracey Nielson, Fault Protection System Engineer
NASA commentator/reporter Gay Hill tied it all together as the night wore on.
Also, those delightful @MarsCuriosity tweets are voiced by a trio of ladies, led by NASA’s social media manager Veronica McGregor (who opened the press conference after the launch), with Courtney O’Connor and Stephanie Smith. Still giggling over “GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!”
Anyhoo. Not that we’re indifferent to Bobak’s charms - please, we’re totally down - but we wanted to give shout-outs to the incredible ratio-changing people who were part of the MarsCuriosity’s terrific team. We’re sure there are more, but these were who we saw. See, visibility is important. Even from space.
New York City apartments may get even smaller. Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday launched a competition for developers to design a building with micro-units of no more than 300-square feet in Manhattan for the city’s expanding small-household population.
Views of the 2012 Venus Transit (the last of our lifetime) were brought to the world in ways never before imagined, via orbiting spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope using the moon as a mirror, International Space Station astronauts, and, of course NASA broadcasting, live, via the web in high definition from ten locations around the world.” Here’s a selection of twelve such photographs from NASA and Flickr users: http://nyr.kr/Lwpn5z
The Gemini astronauts also took some of the most memorable photos in NASA history. You’d think we would have seen them all by now. But with Nasa’s help and funding, a team of researchers at Arizona State University led by lunar scientist Mark Robinson has retrieved from the archives dozens of outtakes that never made it into wide circulation.
[W]hile rich in depth and breath, the [Planetary Data System] databases have developed in a disparate fashion over the years with different architectures and formats for different scientific needs; thereby making acquisition of data problematic!
So, NASA is holding a series of Challenges to generate some simply awesome ideas for mobile or web based applications that will appeal to general users, to search and display compelling facts about the data. Instead of just scientists, our audience will be the millions of school age students, their teachers and parents, game designers and general civilians of the world. We want to deliver this incredible data to users in a way that excites them – and thus, to help them understand the value and potential of this data.
This more than twenty billion years timeline of our universe shows the best estimates of the occurrence of events since its beginning, up until anticipated events in the near future. Zero of the scale is the present day. A large step on the scale is one billion years, a small step one hundred million years. The past time have a minus sign, e.g. the oldest rock on Earth was formed about four billion years ago and this is marked at -4e+09 years. The “Big Bang” event happened 13.7 billion years ago.