APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:11 am

Image 5 Million Miles from Pluto

Explanation: An image snapped on July 7 by the New Horizons spacecraft while just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto is combined with color data in this most detailed view yet of the Solar System's most famous world about to be explored. The region imaged includes the tip of an elongated dark area along Pluto's equator already dubbed "the whale". A bright heart-shaped region on the right is about 1,200 miles (2,000) kilometers across, possibly covered with a frost of frozen methane, nitrogen, and/or carbon monoxide. The view is centered near the area that will be seen during New Horizons much anticipated July 14 closest approach to a distance of about 7,750 miles (12,500 kilometers).

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by skyhound » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:40 am

Sadly, this image is over processed and over magnified. Processing should never obscure detail that is present in the original image. If you look at the shaded region to the right of the darker area, which runs diagonally from the upper left to the lower right, and compare it to the same area in the raw image, it seems clear that detail has been lost. In the raw image this area appears as three smaller spots. The processing has merged them. Similarly, processing should never add detail that does not exist. They have also introduced banding along the edges of the planet, which I find quite annoying. In my opinion this is all made worse by the over magnification of the image, which allows the higher frequency processing artifacts to appear as detail that isn't actually there. For comparison, have a look at the smaller image in the icon for this thread (above). It looks so much better! I find that a magnification of 150% looks very good, and this can be pushed as far as 200%.

This is disappointing to me. Whomever is releasing these images to the public is not doing a proper job.
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by JavachipSD » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:34 am

Considering that New Horizons was "only" 25 times farther from Pluto than our moon is from Earth, I am a bit surprised by the lack of detail and resolution in this image. Hopefully that will improve in the next few days. It's certainly a relief to have the spacecraft acquiring data again.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by geckzilla » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:54 am

skyhound wrote:This is disappointing to me. Whomever is releasing these images to the public is not doing a proper job.
The New Horizons team is doing a great job with their processing. You are mistaken. That said, whether it looks worse or better enlarged like this is a matter of opinion, but the shortcomings are much more apparent when looked at closely.
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:58 am

We're at Pluto; Wonderbar!!!!! 8-) :D
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by starsurfer » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:16 am

I think this is an amazing age we live in yet people still find the time to complain! I'm so happy that I'm alive to witness an actual proper nearly closeup image of Pluto! This is fantastic and I'm greatly excited for all the future images and what we will learn.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by Ann » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:13 pm

If a photographer approached the Moon at the same speed that New Horizons is approaching Pluto, and had to make do with one part in 250 as much sunlight as we enjoy here, the Luna picture might have turned out a little blurry, too.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by Wooferhound » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:21 pm

It looks like Titan without the clouds

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by neufer » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:21 pm

JavachipSD wrote:
Considering that New Horizons was "only" 25 times farther from Pluto than our moon is from Earth, I am a bit surprised by the lack of detail and resolution in this image. Hopefully that will improve in the next few days.
It's about what one can make out on the moon with the naked eye (~ 1/25 the diameter of LORRI).

Galileo came along with a telescope 2.5X larger than the eye's pupil and was the first to see mountains on the moon.
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by songwriterz » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:06 pm

skyhound wrote:Sadly, this image is over processed and over magnified. Processing should never obscure detail that is present in the original image. If you look at the shaded region to the right of the darker area, which runs diagonally from the upper left to the lower right, and compare it to the same area in the raw image, it seems clear that detail has been lost. In the raw image this area appears as three smaller spots. The processing has merged them. Similarly, processing should never add detail that does not exist. They have also introduced banding along the edges of the planet, which I find quite annoying. In my opinion this is all made worse by the over magnification of the image, which allows the higher frequency processing artifacts to appear as detail that isn't actually there. For comparison, have a look at the smaller image in the icon for this thread (above). It looks so much better! I find that a magnification of 150% looks very good, and this can be pushed as far as 200%.

This is disappointing to me. Whomever is releasing these images to the public is not doing a proper job.

Oh, I don't know. I like the picture. It gives off a retro-1950s sci-fi movie vibe from back when special effects weren't so special, our science not so precise, and a sense of wonder more easily created. Okay - yes, this is the 21st Century and we should be beyond all that primitive photography and blah, blah, blah. I guess an umpteen giga-pixel shot with a resolution of 1 meter per pixel would've been "better" and more pleasing to the eye from a purely scientific point of view. But this picture reminds me of a day when we looked upon the universe and our own little part of it with wonder and awe and mystery.

Better photos will be forthcoming, I'm sure. But I like the nostalgia that this one engenders.

DannyP

Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by DannyP » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:12 pm

Does anybody know if the fly by going to be televised or streamed on the 14th?

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:56 pm

DannyP wrote:Does anybody know if the fly by going to be televised or streamed on the 14th?
Go to NASA channel if you get it! Some national stations may decide to broadcast it!
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by bystander » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:10 pm

DannyP wrote:Does anybody know if the fly by going to be televised or streamed on the 14th?
NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI: Updated TV Coverage, Media Activities for Pluto Flyby
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:53 pm

skyhound wrote:Sadly, this image is over processed and over magnified. Processing should never obscure detail that is present in the original image.
Resampling and sharpening always adds artifacts. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be used. They also bring out details our eyes can't detect. I believe that the processed image reveals more information than I see in the raw image. It is, however, useful to view them together. That provides the most information. As does looking at many different versions (which is what I'm sure is going on among the researchers). Here's an intermediate example I made from the raw image (colorized from today's APOD), enlarged a little less but still with significant sharpening:
lor_0298615084_0x630_sci_1_p.jpg
I think my image is more aesthetic, but whether it offers more or less information is hard to say. Regarding today's APOD, I'd say "heavily" processed would be a better term than "over" processed.
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by skyhound » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:12 pm

Wow. A lot of negative reactions to my comments, most of them predictable. Of course one can simultaneously enjoy New Horizons and criticize the way the images are being processed.

This is something I know quite a bit about, having once worked in the capacity of doing image processing for a spacecraft team. I stand by my comments. The images that they are releasing for public consumption have been very badly processed. I first noticed this with the early images that seemed to imply that Pluto wasn't even spherical due to the way they were stretched. Other images have these horrible rings around the edges. I stand by my comments. Consider this an insiders view.

Here is my version of the same image that I made yesterday. I feel it is much more honest and more pleasant to look at.
Image
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alex_ag

Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by alex_ag » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:56 pm

The NewHorizons team has just realised a new fantastic image of Pluto some minutes ago:http://mickey-and-friends.wikia.com/wik ... -Pluto.gif

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by captainwiggins48 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:38 pm

Sort of like Titan but I'm seeing something like Mars! Wonderful excitement reminiscent of early exploratory spacecraft. I'm thinking those who took away Pluto's planet label are feeling a bit foolish right now.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by geckzilla » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:19 pm

skyhound wrote:This is something I know quite a bit about, having once worked in the capacity of doing image processing for a spacecraft team. I stand by my comments.
That makes two of us, then, except I just do image processing as an obsessive hobby. Would I have done this picture differently as well? Probably, but I still think the supplied image is fine. Not that it's really even important for any of us to be qualified to disagree with you, since this is a matter of aesthetics.
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by black_pulsar » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:28 pm

alex_ag wrote:The NewHorizons team has just realised a new fantastic image of Pluto some minutes ago:http://mickey-and-friends.wikia.com/wik ... -Pluto.gif
Same color indeed.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by geckzilla » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:29 pm

Looking elsewhere, here is a picture of Charon from the same dataset. I don't know where they get their color data from so it's black and white. Of course, Charon isn't that colorful, anyway. Feel free to call it overprocessed if you want, but there's not really that much done to it. A friend suggested there is a fetus on Charon. I agree!
2015070722_charon.jpg
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by Scott'sMonkey'sUncle » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:01 pm

It's blurred a'purpose o'course t' hide th' skyescrapers.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:23 pm

Nice...but could have had better focus...

OK...at the right end of "the whale"....I see a guy seated and playing his Trumpet....Ol' Satchmo???

Hoping for better focused views as "we" get closer.

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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by MarkBour » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:14 pm

Boomer12k wrote:Nice...but could have had better focus...
OK...at the right end of "the whale"....I see a guy seated and playing his Trumpet....Ol' Satchmo???
Yes, I thought it looked a bit like Gabriel on a Christmas card (http://www.shutterstock.com/s/angels+tr ... =206025286 ) . But I don't see the feature at all on Chris Peterson's or skyhound's versions, so I doubt it is really there.
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by bystander » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:41 pm

geckzilla wrote:I don't know where they get their color data from ...
Ralph supplies the color data.

Color Images Reveal Two Distinct Faces of Pluto
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Re: APOD: 5 Million Miles from Pluto (2015 Jul 09)

Post by skyhound » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:46 pm

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