APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar 13)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar 13)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:06 am

Image A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander

Explanation: If you could stand on Mars, what would you see? The robotic Phoenix spacecraft that landed on Mars in 2008 recorded the above spectacular panorama. The above image is actually a digital combination of over 100 camera pointings and surveys fully 360 degrees around the busy robotic laboratory. Scrolling right will reveal the rest of the panoramic image. Visible in the image foreground are circular solar panels, various Phoenix instruments, rust colored rocks, a trench dug by Phoenix to probe Mars' chemical composition, a vast plateau of dirt and dirt-covered ice, and, far in the distance, the dust colored atmosphere of Mars. Phoenix landed in the far north of Mars and has used its sophisticated laboratory to search for signs that past life might have been possible. Soil analyses have confirmed the presence of ice and gave unexpected indications of perchlorate salts. Whether Martian life could have evolved around such perchlorates is an ongoing topic of research.

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Guest » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:48 am

So, when I apply my Photoshop program to a whole bunch of samples for a panorama, I typically get a cleaner looking picture. How come this one is so tatty?


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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Max S » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:15 am

Alright everyone, now, is it just me or did anyone else notice this? first off, its too small to be a lens flare and its in the wrong direction, on the lift side of the picture by the horizon there is a gold rock, i photocropped it but idk how to submit photos, Anyone else see this?

PaulK

Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by PaulK » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:29 am

I also saw the yellowish-looking object. It's just below the horizon, a little left of the center of the image. You need to click and enlarge to see it. Is it sunlight on a rock, or part of the craft's landing machinery, or what? It just doesn't seem to fit what's in the rest of the terrain.

cnorine

Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by cnorine » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:34 am

I also noticed a blurry golden object a bit left of center. What is it?

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by BMAONE23 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:09 am

Given the relative distance from the location of the lander, It could be the Heat Shield
http://www.space.com/5611-mars-lander-h ... space.html
Or possibly part of the Back Shell seen here from Wiki

Ä

Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Ä » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:18 am

Mars in his awesomeness... gotte love it. I hope to see the day mankind sets foot on Mars in my lifetime.

Looks like we all noticed the same thing, they yellowish object is indeed quite eye-catching, unlike anything other in picture. Heat shield/parachute?

b_gonullu

Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by b_gonullu » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:32 am

it is obvious from panorama that mars is an excellent place to have a picnic

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by JohnD » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:44 am

Wonderful picture - could it be made better?

The distortion that turns straight into curved lines, and the way scrolling across a flat screen makes it look so unreal, could be avoided if this image was made into an interactive panorama, as has been done to Rover images: http://www.fotoausflug.de/en-mars.html

Can such interactive panoramas be posted as an APOD?
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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by bystander » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:59 am

b_gonullu wrote:it is obvious from panorama that mars is an excellent place to have a picnic
??? Cold, windy, lot of dust in the air, not to mention a severe lack of oxygen. :( No thanks, I'll pass.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by neufer » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:09 pm

b_gonullu wrote:
it is obvious from panorama that mars is an excellent place to have a picnic
And the landscape is so bare!
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by owlice » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:16 pm

neufer wrote: And the landscape is so bare!
It's magnificent!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by rstevenson » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Somebody has a sense of humour. If you click the APOD to get the full-size image, you find it's name begins with "marsapan". What a sweet idea. :mrgreen:

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by neufer » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:42 pm

rstevenson wrote:
Somebody has a sense of humour. If you click the APOD to get the full-size image, you find it's name begins with "marsapan". What a sweet idea. :mrgreen:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzipan wrote:
Image
<<Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal. Some marzipan is flavored with rosewater. Many confectionery products sold as marzipan are made from less expensive materials, such as soy paste and almond essence. German marzipan is made by grinding whole almonds with sugar and partially drying the paste, and French marzipan is made by combining ground almonds with sugar syrup. Spanish marzipan is made without bitter almonds.

The German name has largely ousted the original English name marchpane with the same apparent derivation: "March bread." Marzapane is documented earlier in Italian than in any other language, and the sense "bread" for pan is Romance. The origin could be from the Latin term "martius panis", which means bread of march. However, the ultimate etymology is unclear; for example, the Italian word derives from the Latin words "Massa" (itself from Greek Μάζα "Maza") meaning pastry and "Pan" meaning bread, this can be particularly seen in the Provençal massapan, the Portuguese maçapão. One theory proposes that the word "marzipan" may be a corruption of Martaban, a Burmese city famous for its jars.

Another source could be from Arabic اوثابان mawthaban "king who sits still." The Arabic, Latinized as matapanus, was used to describe a Venetian coin depicting an enthroned Christ the King. These coins were stored in ornate boxes. From about the fifteenth century, when the coins were no longer in circulation, the boxes became decorative containers for storing and serving luxury sweetmeats. One such luxury that crept into the box in the sixteenth century is the now-famous almond-flavoured marzipan, named (at least proximately) after the box in which it was stored.

However, if marzipan has its origin in Persia, it is not unlikely that the name may come from Marzban (in Persian: مرزبان, derived from the words Marz مرز meaning "border" or "boundary" and the suffix -ban بان meaning guardian), a class of margraves or military commanders in charge of border provinces of the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran) between 3rd and 7th centuries CE.>>
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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by JohnD » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:18 pm

Mars seems to stimulate punning.

'Outpost Mars', a little known novel by "Cyril Judd" a pseudonym for CM Kornbluth and Judith Merrill, is almost a Western, of prairie homesteaders battling not against fire, flood and 'injuns', but against a hostile planet. There is even an honest and forthright community leader, a doctor, who carries the Day and wins the Girl, who would have been played in the movie by Gary Cooper or James Stewart. To be honest, the novel is not very good, either as SF or as a Western. What fascinated me was the major sub-plot, of conniving capitalists and politicians, who conspire in illicit traffic in an addictive drug, that can only be produced on Mars. That drug is called marcaine.

"Marcain" is the registered name of a very widely used local anaesthetic, bupivacaine, synthesised by Astra in the 60's. Unfortunately for parallel world or conspiracy theorists, in this Mars, marcaine is clearly an opiate, rather than a local anaesthetic. Equally unfortunately, Kornbluth died in 1958 only a few years after co-writing these stories, while Judith Merrill survived only to die last year, so we can’t ask them if they had shares in Astra. But I've asked one of the original investigators, Dr.Bertil Widman who was one of the first experimenters with and clinical users of Marcaine at its introduction in 1963. He replied, “I knew most of the people at Nobel Bofors-Pharma in Mölndal, Sweden who were involved in the development of Marcaine (project name LAC-43). Back then I asked the Bofors people the same question, about naming Marcaine, and they told me that the “Mar-“ prefix had no special meaning or relation to any person. Together with the marketing people the researchers tested several suggested names for one that would be easy to use in several languages, and finally found that “Marcaine” seemed to be the best, and of course all local anaesthetics should end in "-caine".”

To Kornbluth and Merrill it must have been obvious, if cheesy, to suffixed 'mar' to the ending 'caine' for US readers who in the 50's were familiar with confused media headlines that conflated mariauana and cocaine, in "Reefer Madness" and "Cocaine Fiends". We'll never know if Astra's marketing people were SF readers but I suspect at least one was!
Of course this could be another manifestation of “The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline” but that is another story, by another author, Isaac Asimov this time.

JOhn

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by NoelC » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:28 pm

Wow, what a desolate place. I love these naturally-colored wide images; they really make you feel you're standing there. Doesn't really have the visual clues for "cold", though. I find it interesting how much the different angle of the light changes the look of the terrain over on the far right.

The lab seems a bit messy to drop dirt all over itself.

Must be pretty cool to be one of the folks who dressed the wiring or assembled the gear, and now see images of it beamed back from a hundred million miles away.

Love the way Canada got their name and flag out there front and center, and all the US got was a couple of little faded looking flags. :)

-Noel
Last edited by NoelC on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:36 pm

Notice the rock at the bottom left. I seems to have moved and left a trail. :roll:
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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Wally » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:27 pm

It reminds me of Oklahoma.

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by bystander » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:41 pm

Oklahoma isn't that desolate.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Beyond » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:12 pm

Picnic, huh? NO ants and NO Yogi to steal take the pic-a-nic baskets :!:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:27 pm

Beyond wrote:Picnic, huh? NO ants and NO Yogi to steal take the pic-a-nic baskets :!:
But... Yogi is on Mars!
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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Doum » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:10 pm

orin stepanek wrote:Notice the rock at the bottom left. I seems to have moved and left a trail. :roll:
< The rock has probably been blown away by the exhaust jet engine of phoenix on landing. :?:

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by jando35 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:58 pm

I'm surprised nobody has commented on the presence of perchlorates on Mars. These are signs of a very oxidising condition at some past time - and that is amazing! Take salt, sodium chloride [NaCl] and blast it with a strong oxidiser and you get sodium perchlorate [NaClO4].

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by Beyond » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:38 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Beyond wrote:Picnic, huh? NO ants and NO Yogi to steal take the pic-a-nic baskets :!:
But... Yogi is on Mars!
Oh-My! What a boo-boo! I didn't reconize him in his dehydrated lack-of-pic-a-nic-baskets condition.
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

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Re: APOD: A Mars Panorama from the Phoenix Lander (2011 Mar

Post by J. Develet » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:09 pm

Considering the Phoenix Lander has been on MARS for 3 years in such a dusty land and atmospheric environment!! How did it stay so clean?? There must be Aliens on that planet.