You are browsing the archive for HiRISE Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

16 April 2011

Dreaming of Easy-to-Use Data

Some thoughts on how difficult it is to use multiple different types of data in planetary science, how easy it could be, and two free programs that are important first steps in making easy-to-use data a reality.


28 February 2011

Not dead yet

Hello loyal readers. Sorry I’ve been AWOL lately, but things have been slightly crazy. I have been frantically working on wrapping up a paper and last week I was out at Los Alamos National Lab last week collecting some last-minute data (a.k.a. zapping some more rocks) for the paper. This week I get to (somehow) finish it and make a poster about the results which I will present next week …


3 January 2011

AGU 2010 – Days 3 and 4: Exoplanets, Impact Basins and Alteration

Now that it’s a New Year, it’s time I wrapped up my AGU 2010 recaps. This post covers Wednesday and Thursday, with lots of good stuff about super-earth exoplanets, impacts on the Moon and Mars, and lasers on Venus!


1 November 2010

Planets Like Grains of Sand

The other day I came across a press release announcing that nearly one in four sun-like stars could have planets as small as Earth. That’s pretty awesome! But I though it was especially interesting how they came up with this number. Current technology can’t quite see an Earth-sized planet around a sun-like star, so how do you count things that you can’t see? Well, you count everything else and then extrapolate.


12 July 2010

Microsoft goes to Mars

Today, NASA and Microsoft announced a very cool new addition to Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope (WWT) program: Mars images! Yep, now you can use WWT to cruise around Mars and to view the planet with a handful of datasets, including 13,000 mind-blowingly high-resolution HiRISE images, and even more almost-as-high-resolution MOC images. There is also the standard MOLA colorized topography and a low-resolution approximately true color map. It’s great to see all …


27 January 2010

Awesome new Mars flyovers

Check out these awesome flyovers of Mars, generated by Doug Ellison of UnmannedSpaceflight! These are based on digital elevation models from HiRISE, draped with the HiRISE images, so it’s about as close as we can get to actually flying above the surface of Mars. I particularly like the Gale crater one, but I may be slightly biased, having stared at Gale for the past year or so…


17 December 2009

AGU 2009 – Day 2

I started off day 2 of AGU at a couple of lunar talks showing off data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Unfortunately, I missed the early sessions about the high-res cameras, but the bright side was that I learned abount some instruments I was less familiar with. First was the Lunar Orbital Laser Altimeter – LOLA. A similar instrument on Mars Global Surveyor, MOLA, revolutionized our view of Mars. The …


6 November 2009

Big Picture HiRISE Gallery!

Speaking of Mars art, the Big Picture blog (which all of you should be following by now) has a feature on images of Mars taken by HiRISE. Head on over and take a look. Mars is a really pretty and often bizarre-looking place. [PS – Have you voted today?]


Mars Art: Mind-blowing Swiss Cheese

First of all, a reminder to go vote on my article about MSL, which is a finalist in the science writing competition. Ok, done? Good. I wanted you to do that before I showed you this image because it may very well break your brain. This is a HiRISE image of the so-called “swiss cheese” terrain at the south pole of mars. The terrain is formed by the sublimation …


29 October 2009

New Photos of Stuff on Other Worlds

I always make the mistake when on vacation of taking too many pictures of scenery and not enough pictures of people. Years down the road, the most interesting photos are not landscapes, but the ones that we can look at and say “I remember when we did that!”. And that’s why I think it’s great that we now have cameras around the Moon and Mars that can do the same. …


15 October 2009

Mars Art: HiRISE Dust Devils and Dusty Dunes

It’s been a while since I posted any “Mars art” but I just came across this Bad Astronomy post and had to share. The short explanation of the photo is that dust devils spiraling across these sand dunes have removed the red dust but left behind dark sand in artistic swirls. For a more detailed description, check out Bad Astronomy, and to take a closer look at the image itself, …


25 June 2009

Surreal-looking HiRISE Picture of the Day

I don’t have time to write a full post since I am busy trying to get a presentable outline of my PhD thesis prepared to show to my committee next week. So in the mean time, enjoy this beautiful and bizarre HiRISE image of defrosting terrain on Mars. Click the image or this link to go to the HiRISE page and see the full version.


27 April 2009

Pretty Dunes in Gale Crater

This is a tiny subframe from the HiRISE image PSP_009294_1750.


28 March 2009

LPSC 2009: Day 2

Day 2 was all about ice in the mars sessions: the morning focused onĀ  the polar caps and the afternoon focused on the subsurface. I also managed to catch a few non-mars talks. One of the first talks I saw was by Ken Tanaka, famed for his geologic maps of Mars. He showed the results of his studies of the north polar cap, and identified at least two major hiatuses. …


6 February 2009

Weird Outcrops in Schiaparelli Crater

Today while we were discussing the section of the MOC paper that I posted about yesterday, we decided to look more closely at one of the figures. In the paper, the authors suggest that the light-colored rocks are on top of the dunes, implying that the dunes are fossilized, were buried and are now being uncovered. We found a HiRISE image of the area and found out that the truth …


2 February 2009

New Google Mars

Google Earth’s latest edition was just released and guess what? It has a Mars setting! There was a way to overlay Mars data on the Earth globe in previous versions, but now that’s no longer necessary: just click a button and you’re on Mars. You can choose from a variety of global maps including topography, Viking images, Day and nighttime infrared, and visible color. It also has footprints for high …


11 December 2008

Mars in 3D

Apparently the folks on the HiRISE team decided that spectacular images weren’t enough. They have now released hundreds of 3D HiRISE images on their website, including the one above of layered rocks and sand dunes in Arabia Terra. (you may recognize this scene from my Mars Art post a few weeks ago) Grab your 3D glasses and enjoy!


8 December 2008

Mars Art: Rhythmic Layers

This week’s Mars Art image also happens to be the subject of an interesting new finding. A new paper in Science details the discovery of a set of layered deposits in Arabia Terra that appear to match the Martian Climate cycle. Mars’ tilt wobbles around and causes the climate to change with it. It follows the general pattern of ten smaller wobbles in between larger wobbles. The layers shown in …


24 November 2008

Mars Art: Dunes in Abalos Undae

This week’s Mars Art is a HiRISE view of Dunes in Abalos Undae. Pictures of sand dunes taken by HiRISE never get old for me. There is something about the undulating, regular shapes of dunes that is fascinating and beautiful and peaceful. There is a great quote about dunes in the book “Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes” by R.A. Bagnold that goes on quite poetically about them, but …


28 October 2008

Mars Art: Linear Dunes near the North Pole

I am starting a new thing. Every week, I will browse through data from current and past Mars missions and find an “artistic” image to post here. I’ll talk briefly about what the image says scientifically, but mostly this is about eye-candy and the crossover between science and art, which I have talked about before. Without further ado, here’s your first piece of “Mars Art”: This image is a HiRISE …