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Curiosity's Latest High-Res Photo Looks Like Earth

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ocean-front-property dept.

Earth 215

New submitter bbianca127 writes "Curiosity sent a picture down to us, and it looks a lot like Earth. Actually, the picture's color quality has been changed — to human eyes, the landscape would look a lot more reddish. Still, it looks remarkably like the southwestern United States (bringing to mind the Arrested Development quote about how Lucille Bluth would rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona)." Definitely a different sense of the place than the one given by the reddish-brown posters I remember from elementary school.

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Great summary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41011853)

Especially the part that mentions where the photo is from.

Re:Great summary (2)

Gilandune (1266114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012061)

Really? It says right there its a picture from Curiosity (capital C). You should get out from under your rock more often!

Re:Great summary (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012451)

Curiosity is a robot, I don't see a photo of a robot there, so...

Re:Great summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012505)

It's from a robot, so unless there is a mirror, you won't see the robot. Which of course begs the question: if there was a mirror, would the robot make a duck face?

Re:Great summary (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012717)

You're using the phrase "begs the question" incorrectly.

Re:Great summary (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012987)

Pray tell, oh wise one -- what, in your humble opinion, is the correct way to use that phrase (since I, in my limited capacity, see nothing wrong with what he wrote)?

impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011861)

"bringing to mind the Arrested Development quote about how Lucille Bluth would rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona"

no, actually, sorry, not at all

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41011905)

Doesn't spring to mind for me either, and I love that show. Still, I'm glad it's there. I fucking love that show.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1, Redundant)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011945)

Yeah really, I was thinking more like:

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies
Don't fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don't fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don't fence me in

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012475)

A million suns shine down
But I see only one
When I think I'm over you
I find I've just begun
The years move faster than the days
There's no warmth in the light
How I miss those desert skies
Your cool touch in the night

CHORUS:
Benson, Arizona, blew warm wind through your hair
My body flies the galaxy, my heart longs to be there
Benson, Arizona, the same stars in the sky
But they seemed so much kinder when we watched them, you and I

Now the years pull us apart
I'm young and now you're old
But you're still in my heart
And the memory won't grow cold
I dream of times and spaces
I left far behind
Where we spent our last few days
Benson's on my mind

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012953)

Almost heaven, Martian winter,
CO2 ice, rusty frozen water
Light of Deimos in thin red sky
Just can't breathe here, think I'm gonna die

Take me home, Martian road,
to that place far from home
Marineris, Mount Olympus
Take me home, Martian road.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012519)

Sorry, no cottonwood trees on Mars. And the view of the stars is usually pretty lousy with all that dust.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012761)

The atmosphere is so thin it's basically vacuum, so the view of the stars should be pretty good. If we could engineer cottonwood trees that thrive in vacuum, high radiation, temperatures as low as -150 celcius, and no water, we'd be good there too. Of course then we'd have to engineer humans that didn't suffer bone decalcification due to the low gravity...

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012703)

Yeah really, I was thinking more like:

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies
Don't fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don't fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don't fence me in

Interesting perspective. I'm a hiker and I'd love to hike Mars. All these photos are tantalizing, to imagine some of the great vistas available, which only a robot can see for the present.

Some day the Sierra Club will be trying to protect areas of the planet, to keep open and undeveloped. Trails will descend into Valles Marineris and there will be campgrounds. No scorpions, no rattlesnakes. A trail or two will ascend Olympus Mons and even in daylight you will be able to see the brighter stars and constellations. The hint for every martian Geocache will be under a pile of rocks. It'll be a glorious place to wander. I'm seriously envious of those who will enjoy all Mars has to offer, aside from just another place for the human race to populate and industrialize.

Keep Mars Clean - Pack Your Trash
  Red Planet Night Fighters

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012835)

Interesting perspective. I'm a hiker and I'd love to hike Mars. All these photos are tantalizing, to imagine some of the great vistas available, which only a robot can see for the present.

Some day the Sierra Club will be trying to protect areas of the planet, to keep open and undeveloped.

You might even say,

they want to arrest its development!

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012227)

Oh shut up.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012305)

Very obscure and I'm a huge fan of the show. Should have been removed by... editors.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

neminem (561346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012349)

I'm watching that show right now! It's a fantastic show, and it's crazy that I'd never really heard anything about it until quite recently. They're bringing it back for another season next year, too!

But yeah, that doesn't sound like a particularly memorable line. Nor does it seem to have a terribly large amount of relevance to the topic at hand.

Arizona does pretty much suck, though. I'll grant that.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012391)

Yep. Netflix is carrying I think around 10 episodes next season, to be followed by a feature film.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012825)

All of them except the very last one was on Netflix when I watched them about a year ago.

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012999)

They're talking about Netflix carrying an all-new fourth season [latimes.com] (which just started filming a week or so ago).

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012413)

By chance, are you from Arizona?

Re:impossibly obscure, personal cultural refences (3, Funny)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 2 years ago | (#41013037)

No kidding. However, like many Slashdot stories, it does remind us that "Everyone's laughing, and riding, and cornholing except Buster."

That's because it IS earth. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41011863)

How much more do we need before the public accepts that it's just a few guys driving around Nevada?

Re:That's because it IS earth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41011933)

How much more do we need before the public accepts that it's just a few guys driving around Nevada?

Why not just go all the way and say its cg?

Re:That's because it IS earth. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012085)

It clearly is cg. Rocks don't look like that in Nevada.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012165)

NASA blew its budget for CG on the ISS. Two guys, a Ford Bronco, a camera, and an unlicensed copy of Photoshop is all they can afford now.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012341)

Two guys, a Ford Bronco, a camera, and an unlicensed copy of Photoshop

In the falls newes hit sitcom....

Re:That's because it IS earth. (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012751)

Hmm. A remake of Route 66 [imdb.com] . With a twist.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012123)

I was going to say "Sure, but Nevada doesn't have that many craters." Then I remembered it does have rather a lot [google.com] :-)

Re:That's because it IS earth. (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012263)

Yes. But Nevada does have the occasional plant and animal life even once you get out of the city. It's not totally barren.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012161)

How much more do we need before the public accepts that it's just a few guys driving around Nevada?

I would accept a beer can in one of the photos as evidence.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012837)

How much more do we need before the public accepts that it's just a few guys driving around Nevada?

I would accept a beer can in one of the photos as evidence.

And how do you know Martians don't drink beer?

Although I will say this - if they find a Buttwiper or Coors Light^H^H^H^H^HRocky Mountain Horse Piss can, nuke the whole damn planet from orbit.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (5, Funny)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 2 years ago | (#41013019)

"I would accept a beer can in one of the photos as evidence."

Sorry, all they've found so far are Budweiser and Coors Light cans. But the search continues.

Re:That's because it IS earth. (2)

laejoh (648921) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012271)

It was a soundstage on Mars!

Re:That's because it IS earth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012749)

you are a bad person and you should feel bad

third parties? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41011877)

Why is it that people keep redirecting me to a third party site to see the rover images, in stead of linking to the Nasa source?

Re:third parties? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012063)

Because NASA doesn't have advertising?

(Which is a completely wasted opportunity.)

Re:third parties? (5, Funny)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012829)

I don't think Opportunity [wikipedia.org] has been wasted at all....

White-balanced (5, Insightful)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011887)

That's because that photo is the white-balanced version! A white-balanced photo is what the scene in Mars would look like if you literally took the scene, cut out that whole area of ground, transported it to Earth and viewed it under the Earth's sky.

Re:White-balanced (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011931)

How can we know for sure unless we cut the whole area of ground, transport it to Earth and view it under the Earth's sky?

Re:White-balanced (5, Informative)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012045)

Science.

Re:White-balanced (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012501)

Damn, now I have that Thomas Dolby tune playing in my head.

Re:White-balanced (5, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012147)

As much as I love the awesome idea of moving a chunk of terrain between planets, I'm going to shoot for an informative mod and answer the question.

There is a sundial mounted on Curiosity [nasa.gov] , with a few colored stripes on it. Those stripes' colors (red, green, blue, and yellow) were recorded under Earth's lighting, Now that those same stripes are on Mars, their apparent color change in new pictures is the result of Mars' different lighting. By comparing the stripes' pictures, an approprite transformation can be determined, then applied to other pictures to compensate for the change in lighting.

We are sure because we're assuming that those stripes' actual colors haven't changed significantly during flight or landing.

Re:White-balanced (2)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012567)

The thing is, If I were on Mars, the colors wouldn't look like they look here anyway -- because of the lighting that you mentioned. I'd rather see what it would look like on an alien world in its native lighting conditions, not rebalanced to look like it had our light conditions.

Re:White-balanced (4, Informative)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012963)

You would, but geologists wouldn't. They are used to what rocks and minerals look like under our own earthly lighting. As such it makes sense to adjust the color of the image to match earth-normal lighting conditions.

Re:White-balanced (2)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012345)

I totally agree.
The next mission must be to return a square kilometer of martian surface, so we can accurately check the colour.

Re:White-balanced (5, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012441)

On the rover are color calibration targets (here is the one for the rover's arm's instruments [nasa.gov] ). We know exactly what the colors of those targets are supposed to look like, when imaged by the cameras on the rover, under normal Earth-like lighting conditions. By looking at how those targets appear in the images we get back under Mars lighting conditions, we can do two things:

1) Learn a lot about the lighting conditions on Mars.
2) Correct the appearance of images we get back to correct for that Mars lighting.

Re:White-balanced (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012647)

I'm color-blind, you insensitive clod! It all looks like lush green meadow to me.

Both versions (5, Informative)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011955)

Here is a page on the MSL's site where you can see both versions of the photo:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4431 [nasa.gov]

One is white-balanced and one colored. The white-balanced version represents what the scene would look like to human eyes under an Earth sky. The colored represents what the scene would look like to human eyes on Mars.

The point of using white-balanced photos is that geologists are used to looking at rocks on Earth. So when a geologist wants to judge rock characteristics using color, it helps to white-balance it so the color is similar to what it would be if looking at those rocks on Earth.

__

Re:Both versions (0)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012407)

Both Photos have been tocuhed up before given to the public. Check out the photos of Mars from the 1970s and you will be amazed at how much the sky on Mars ISNT as red as the Gov wants us to think. google = Real Color of Mars.. do some reading and lets start up a new thread called why do they want us to think Mars is red?

Re:Both versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012473)

Red? White-balanced? Colored? Mars is straight up racist!

Judging by your UID, I would think you are old enough that it would be obvious to you why the government wants us to think Mars is red. Obviously it is full of commies and we should nuke it immediately.

Re:Both versions (2)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012915)

Obviously it's a conspiracy at the highest levels to increase the sales of tin foil to be used in hat making.

Next question, please?

Re:Both versions (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012809)

And if you are interested in more raw images you can see them here: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=3 [nasa.gov] (link is to day 3 but you can see others as well).

Re:White-balanced (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011969)

Which is useful, because it lets us see things in a more familiar frame of reference. Under the Mars Atmosphere things will look more alien to us making normal stuff seem worthy of extra interest. Making the images more earth like, will help us point out what things are more interesting to look at and what to ignore.

Reverse white-balance (2)

Strange Quark Star (1157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012687)

How about doing the reverse, i. e. adjust the white-balance of photos taken on earth to look like they were taken on mars? Can this be done accurately if we take the picture of Curiosity's sundial as a martian reference? I think it would be very interesting to see earthly scenes the way they would look on mars!

Re:Reverse white-balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012811)

yes! this is exactly what i was thinking while looking at those. i was imagining lush mars tinted forests.

Re:Reverse white-balance (1)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012937)

Why is this a surprise? (4, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011911)

While there may be a few color differences, one iron and silicate planet is likely to look much like another when there is no vegetation covering.

Re:Why is this a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012293)

Ya. Who knew? Rocks and sand look like rocks and sand.

Re:Why is this a surprise? (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#41013017)

I tried to explain that to my geology professor once... ONCE.

Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011925)

They use black & white (greyscale) cameras because you can get higher resolution for the size & weight. They then take three photos with different filters to simulate color.

Re:Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (3, Insightful)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 2 years ago | (#41011963)

...you mean, like every camera? Ever?

Re:Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012189)

Not really...

If you don't mind being unable to take color shots of relatively fast moving things, you can use a conventional greyscale sensor, swap color filters between frames, and then crunch the result into a color image(or, if you have the space and don't mind a moderately complex optics package, you can have three greyscale sensors, each with a fixed color filter). If you need a color image within one frame, you use a fixed bayer(or similar) filter and demosaicing. Eats nontrivial resolution compared to the pure greyscale or swapped filters strategy; but you get everything in one shot and fewer moving parts. Then you have the somewhat oddball Foveon approach, where your greyscale sensors are stacked vertically, and use the different rates of absorption in silicon of different frequencies to do the filtering...

In very broad terms, they all have the 'greyscale sensors and filters' strategy; but there are a fair few ways to go about it. If you count chemical and biological sensors, you are more likely to find sensor elements that are actually tuned to a specific wavelength, rather than filtered to it; but the final image is still a matter of crunching together results from individual elements that are really only giving you intensity data for a relatively narrow slice of frequencies.

Re:Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012051)

The article says the color photos use the same process as consumer cameras and phones, so I disagree.

Re:Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012151)

The Curiosity rover has eight cameras. Early pictures were from the monochrome navigation cameras, but now we're getting color pictures from the high-resolution mast camera, which is a not a gray-scale camera.

Re:Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012157)

That used to be the case, but in these days of ridiculously high resolution color CCD's, there's not much advantage in black and white any more.

Re:Of course the color was corrected, camera is B& (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012219)

Curiosity has a high resolution color camera on it.

Altered to be familiar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41011949)

"the pictures have been white-balanced to show how it would appear under typical Earth lighting conditions. This will help the Earth-centered geologists who are trained to recognize features based on how they look using more familiar light."

News flash, pictures from the rocky martian desert landscape altered to look familiar to Earth geologists look like Earth's rocky desert landscape. Shocking!

Truth (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012013)

Definitely a different sense of the place than the one given by the reddish-brown posters I remember from elementary school.

Yeah, damn those elementary schools for showing you unedited pictures of the cosmos. You can really only inspire grade-school children by lying to them with photoshopped pictures. Maybe NASA should rename the mast camera BieberCam and photoshop in very small pictures of Bieber hiding behind a rock, you know, drum up some interest in science by... doing unscientific things, like photo alteration.

Re:Truth (4, Informative)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012139)

Yyyyeah...they're not "altering" the photo. What they're doing is balancing the color so that people can know what they are seeing. The reason for this is that the Martian atmosphere has radically different color properties from that of our own. What this means is that visible observations cannot be made reliably: for example, a red rock on mars may not actually be red as we understand the color, and so conclusions geoloists make based on a color may be erroneous, because they are basing those conclusions on colors observed under earth's sky.

If anyone's interested, another scene is shown with and without white balance here: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120815.html [nasa.gov]

Re:Truth (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012253)

Any proposals on what to do with images produced by instruments that sample outside of the human visual range? The guys down at legal said that I'm not allowed to use true-color displays for anything higher energy than longwave UV anymore... Not my fault what happened to those kids.

Re:Truth (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012685)

You know, geology is a science too. And geologists like to look at rocks. Most of them spend a lot of time on Earth, so they get used to looking at rocks under the kind of lighting found here on Earth.

That's why the photo has been adjusted to account for differences in martian lighting -- So that scientists looking at it can pick out details that they recognize.

Just show us the real pictures (-1, Troll)

oic0 (1864384) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012125)

Why do they keep showing us these altered photos. We paid billions in tax dollars because we want to see the damn planet, not a photohopped image.

Re:Just show us the real pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012231)

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=

Re:Just show us the real pictures (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012445)

From TFA ...

The colors in this image are not what a human standing on Mars would see â" the presence of dust in the atmosphere would make the scene appear much redder. Instead, the pictures have been white-balanced to show how it would appear under typical Earth lighting conditions. This will help the Earth-centered geologists who are trained to recognize features based on how they look using more familiar light.

They have the images which aren't color corrected. But for certain kinds of science, it's easier to shift the colors to match what we expect to see on Earth so people can more readily know what they're looking at.

Surprised? (2)

CheeseyDJ (800272) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012143)

From the summary:

Definitely a different sense of the place than the one given by the reddish-brown posters I remember from elementary school.

That's because the picture has been altered to remove the red haze, in order to produce an image that more closely resembles a landscape on Earth.

From the article:

The colors in this image are not what a human standing on Mars would see — the presence of dust in the atmosphere would make the scene appear much redder. Instead, the pictures have been white-balanced to show how it would appear under typical Earth lighting conditions. This will help the Earth-centered geologists who are trained to recognize features based on how they look using more familiar light.

What else would it look like? (1, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012181)

Earth is a big place. You can pretty much guarantee that any rocky planet will have parts that look like other rocky planets. When will we get any science? We KNOW the place is a reddish, dusty, rocky desert. Move on.

Re:What else would it look like? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012677)

Gosh, some guy on Slashdot wants to move on. Hey, everybody! Stop testing the MSL! Forget all the calibration tests. Drop the checkout sequences. No need to make sure anything is working right. This guy said go. Just apply all available current to all the wheels. No, there's no time to make a traversability map. All power to the forward shields! Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!

Re:What else would it look like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012713)

There *is* no "move on". What else can we do? A return mission like Luna 16? That's about it. Will that be science?

Re:What else would it look like? (1)

nashv (1479253) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012781)

Seriously, are you trolling or simply do not understand that this IS scientific information about Martian terrain, geology, soil, tectonics, atmosphere etc. With respect to earth, it tells us a lot about the Goldilocks zone's extent. Mainly because the other 2 terrestrial planets - Mercury and Venus don't seem to have terrain like the earth.

Do you think there is just one kind of dusty, rocky desert?
Go to the Atacama desert, and then to the Gobi desert, and to the Sahara. Tell me if you think they are the same.

Mind blown! (1, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012183)

So rocks on Mars, when coloured to look as they would if on Earth, look like rocks on Earth. Obviously this must mean that Martian rocks and Earth rocks share a common ancestor! Once again, Slashdot tackles the tough science questions that other media don't dare touch.

Re:Mind blown! (4, Informative)

nashv (1479253) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012701)

Obviously this must mean that Martian rocks and Earth rocks share a common ancestor!

Yes. It does. That common ancestor is called the protoplanetary disc [wikipedia.org] which led to the formation of the inner solar system.

Now go troll somewhere else.

Re:Mind blown! (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#41013029)

You're not familiar with sarcasm are you?

So we spent $2.5B to get a picture of Arizona? (0)

glrotate (300695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012209)

Can we get our money back?

NASA photo gallary leaves room for improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012283)

The photo gallery thingi on NASAs web site is painful to use and not suitable for displaying a large catalogue of images.

For an example of a mars image site that does not suck: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ [arizona.edu]

Far too benign (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012301)

Speaking as someone who moved to Arizona so I could study Mars... that photo does not have NEARLY enough things that will poke you, scratch you, sting you, bite you, poison you, or wait patiently for you to die so they can feast on your still-warm remains.

Despite having nearly no atmosphere, being blasted by radiation, and having an average temperature of about -70 C, Mars is WAY safer than Arizona. In fact, -70 C sounds positively wonderful this time of year.

free jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012377)

as Norma implied I am amazed that some people able to make $4245 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you look at this web site makecash16.com

patent the marble...now! (-1, Troll)

MiniMaul (267339) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012471)

The "likeness" of earth isn't patented?

Years ago... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012597)

I was there and agree, Nevada does look a lot like Earth...
(Honestly, I was to Nevada)

CAPTCHA = amalgams

It's been ADJUSTED to look like Earth. (4, Funny)

danhuby (759002) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012657)

From the article:

> The colors in this image are not what a human standing on Mars would see — the presence of dust in the atmosphere would make the scene appear much redder. Instead, the pictures have been white-balanced to show how it would appear under typical Earth lighting conditions.

So the story is that a photo of Mars that has been adjusted so it looks like Earth to make it easier for geologists to interpret... looks like Earth. Wow.

Dark patch ... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012683)

... across the middle of the photo is Route 190 through Death Valley. Who do they think they are fooling anyway?

Grrrr! So tired of doctored pics!!!! (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012699)

NASA, please release REAL color pics for the general public. For the past 20 years, I've been having this "oh, that looks strange"; "well, that's not what it really looks like" back-and-forth every time photos are released.

Re:Grrrr! So tired of doctored pics!!!! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012931)

This is not like Hubble images where they're assigning colors to radio / infrared / ultraviolet / xray frequencies that your eyes can't even see. The difference between the two images in this case is similar to what you get every day by putting on or taking off sunglasses, or looking out your window at midday vs. near sunset. Colors are shifting all the time, for the most part you are insensitive to it. Most people taking pictures don't even bother to use a gray card to get correct(?) white balance.

Southwestern United States (3, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#41012731)

New Mexico, to be precise [360cities.net] , near Albuquerque.

Prologue to Pandora Star :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41012875)

I'm just waiting for a Nigel Sheldon showing up on Mars making fun of the rover :)

Her is the prologue those who haven't read the works of Peter F. Hamilton.
http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk/index.php?page=Pandora_s_Star_Prologue

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