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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 …

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30 January 2009

The MOC "Book": Introduction

When the Mars Global Surveyor arrived at Mars in 1997, it brought with it the most powerful camera ever placed in orbit around another planet, the Mars Orbital Camera (MOC). In 2001, the principal investigators of MOC, Mike Malin and Ken Edgett, published a massive 134 page paper, summarizing the results of the mission and revolutionizing the world’s view of Mars. Here in the MarsLab, the paper is fondly referred …

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15 November 2008

Mars Art: Something Old, Something New

I love this image. It is a view from the Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) showing layered rocks and dunes in the bottom of an unnamed crater in Arabia Terra, Mars. The rocks are extremely ancient sediments, laid down billions of years ago when the planet was young. One of the most impressive things to me is how nice and regular the layers are. The black dunes and the granule ripples …

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2 November 2008

Mars Art: Dust Devil Tracks

In this scene, taken by the Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) on Mars Global Surveyor, dust devils have swirled and gyrated back and forth, lifting the bright dust off of the surface and leaving complicated dark-toned streaks. There are many more examples of this, including some where the dust devils have been caught in the act! I’m posting this as Mars Art because it looks for all the world to me …

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20 August 2008

How to Look at Mars

There is so much Mars data out there that it hard to keep track of all of it! Thankfully there are some useful tools that let anyone look easily look at orbital data of anywhere on the planet. The first is a program called “jmars“. This java-based program distributed by Arizona State University lets you overlay all sorts of global datasets, from MOLA topography to THEMIS nighttime infrared maps to …

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15 March 2008

Mars is gorges? Gullies @ LPSC

A half session at LPSC was devoted to observations and analog work on Martian gullies. These apparently young, water carved features are one of the many big puzzles on Mars today. Credit: NASA / JPL/ U. Ariz. Gullies, like the one shown above, were discovered on Mars back in 2000 in images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera, the first high-res camera in orbit around the red planet. They were …

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