MECA-OM Images - Page 20

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hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 24, 2008 4:43 PM 

Yet another image of a tiny area on OM54:

Phoenix has developed an obsession over this spot. Senility setting in?

Meanwhile, totally weird is ignored, like this.

LWS Author Profile Page

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Reply: 382

PostPosted: September 24, 2008 5:50 PM 

Hi Dana

re. your 380, Thanks for a preview of what the AFM might show us of that particle. I suspect, if they are'nt doing afm work, at different angles, on this and the other similar smooth darker particles on OM54, that they are trying to get 3-D images of these particles, hence the regular imaging.

Beautiful images, as usual.


hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 26, 2008 12:34 PM 

sol 120 of OM20 ( white ):

this was created from 21 (!) images. That's this many: X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X.
I am totally mystified as to why the Phoenix team has such an interest in this tiny part of Mars.

Seven sets of RGB images with slightly different pointings implies a super-resolution image is the goal, so I did all my work at 4X with as carefull a registration of the images as I could achieve.

The EDF image seemed to look the best ( although not much different than average intensity ).

I hope we see the NASA version, along with some sort of comment as to why this is so interesting - and worthy of 21 exposures - whereas the weirdness in the other cells is not.

The dooms-sol clock is counting down and this is what is imaged.



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Reply: 384

PostPosted: September 27, 2008 1:15 AM 

"From Near To Far
From Here To There.
Funny Things Are Everywhere."


hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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Reply: 385

PostPosted: September 27, 2008 3:09 PM 

The sol 121 OM montages are here. They are all "first time" images of sample cells in group 4.

Er, what is a "microbucket" substrate?

Not a single image of a sample in a "microbucket" has ever been posted. one-third of all the sample cells are described as "microbuckets".

Did I miss the memo that said thou shalt not use microbuckets? A few more sols to end of mission and not one used? Strange with a capital W-I-E-R-D.

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 27, 2008 3:33 PM 

I should clarify reply 385.

Here is a typical microbucket image:

What I haven't seen are any images of Martian soil in a microbucket.

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 27, 2008 8:18 PM 

I did a google search for "microbucket" - and most of the hits were from postings I have done. Hmmm.

The search "micro bucket" yielded this interesting paper with this quote:

Some of the substrates are so called "micro-buckets", small cups of about 3mm diameter and depth, where of course also particles larger than 200μm will be admitted.

Er, 3 mm deep???

I laughed and laughed. The depth of field of the OM is measured in microns, so the microbucket would have to be full to the top to see anything in focus.

So much for the utility of one-third of the sample cells.

LWS Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 28, 2008 1:42 PM 

Hi Hort

Interesting comments above about the microbuckets.

The article you referenced above however does imply that the buckets are filled and then the excess scraped off by the movement of the stage covering so perhaps there is a mechanism for the filling of the buckets as well as for imaging the very top layer of the soil captured in the bucket. What is true is that much of the material would be covered and therefore invisible to the OM and AFM.

Here's an image from sol 122 that has some quite interesting forms or agglomeration of particles to make up interesting structures. I don't think I have to point them out, they are so outstanding.

I wonder what are the minerals in them and what processes produce such structures.


LWS Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 28, 2008 1:52 PM 


I forgot to mention that the image above is from the OM53; weak magnet substrate


hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 28, 2008 2:31 PM 

Sol 122 montage of montages of OM57 ( strong magnet ):

The magic spinning magnets of Mars. Wheeeee!

See my Flickr comment to understand why I am so annoyed.

Winston, I think the design flaws in the OM makes understanding any of these images almost impossible.

I gave up processing these images in disgust when another set of sol 122 OM images of a magnetic substrate were also spinning like a top.

I was planning on doing an EDF 3D of these images - but that is impossible ( at least for me and my toy programs. )

I think I will just sit back and let the "big boys" have their fun with their broken toys.

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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Reply: 391

PostPosted: September 28, 2008 3:38 PM 

sol 122 OM47 ( weak magnet ) montage:

with links to sol 72 comparisons.

I will accept that the whitish, fibrous thingie on the right is "contamination" - but not the bluish, twisting thingie on the left side.

What makes spiral thingies?

Look what was in the center of the cell on sol 72 has self distructed after getting the memo.

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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Reply: 392

PostPosted: September 28, 2008 3:57 PM 

sol 122 OM57 accidental 3D:

Er, does anyone else think this is a strange "rock"?

rpage Author Profile Page

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Reply: 393

PostPosted: September 28, 2008 6:32 PM 

Pretty cool Horton!
The rock in Reply 392 looks a lot like a garnet crystal.

Barsoomer Author Profile Page

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Reply: 394

PostPosted: September 29, 2008 4:59 PM

Image here is bigger (and apparently better resolution) than the one at

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 29, 2008 5:58 PM 

Barsoomer, exactly how is the official "Mars is red" image better than this 3D extended depth of field version that was posted Sept 18?

You might want to look at the original size version.

Barsoomer Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 29, 2008 6:21 PM 


That 3-D version is amazing. My comparison was between the press images at and at

They did say at the press conference that the press image was a composite made by combining raw images at different focal distances to try to have all parts of the image simultaneously in focus. It still seems inferior to your 3-D image in terms of focus overall. However, a few small features do seem to show up more clearly in the press image.

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 29, 2008 8:20 PM 

sol 123 OM69 animation of,er, uh...uh:

with links to all kinds of different presentations, including this EDF ( extended depth of focus ) 3D.

Unfortunately, the moving bumpy orange blobs didn't stay at one place during the exposures so the EDF doesn't present them very well.

Rocks. Yeah! That's it: bumpy, transluscent rocks rolling around on a pile of immobolized soil... with hooked tails. That's the ticket.

Here is a sol 123 EDF montage comparison with a sol 29 montage -- with links to EDF 3D images.

You might want to search my Flickr images with the search term Phoenix EDF 3D to see the other EDF 3D I have produced so far.

LWS Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 29, 2008 10:13 PM 


Beautiful image! perhaps the very best so far.

They said they are turning on the microphone soon. Think they will hear those rockwho's that look like they are shouting about the treatment meted out to them by the moving OM stage?

Mars is a very strange place with snow that should'nt exist; soil with constant buffered pHs of 8.3 just like our seas; lots of calcium carbonate in the soil; just a teeny weenie amount of other organics discovered by an instrument that is not very good at capturing organics at very low levels as the atacama experiments have shown; etc. etc.

But really, look closely at those orangish rocks. Note their uniformity in size. Note their ornamentation. Note their "tails". Note their apparent plasticity. Strange rocks indeed. But I'm certain that someone will identify them as very typical earth mineral stones.



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PostPosted: September 30, 2008 7:53 AM 

I bring your attention to a previous Hort image that captured strange movement under the soil. Now we know why.

For some reason this is a jpeg and not a gif so Hort if you could revisit this it may make more sense.


danajohnson Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: September 30, 2008 11:35 AM 

Interesting that the announcement of sheet silica, and calcium carbonate, as probable present minerals, and, active snow fall, is changing the history of this area in proven terms now. This is no longer a matter of conservative conjecture about the strictly dry, solid to gas process surmised from the pressure data of current history, and distant observations.
To give to the Martian north polar region a tag of 'water laden', although currently frozen, and climatically balanced between the Mars extremes at the present, with minerals that indicate a probable 'wet' past at times, even if the timing was very distant, should allow some re-interpretation of our observations of particle shapes.
Those hedging for an historically dry Mars, should be re-assessing the facts as they are added to the roster. Snow and fog are present currently in the weather transition season, and therefore affect the OM particles.
Link, as above,for common news of Mars minerals once laden with liquid water as very probable.
As these particles are likely associated with airborne and impact ejecta sources, where can we find in the ice column samples of sedimentary runoff for this lander? Is this OM limited to a view of the wind, snow, and impact altered particles which would deny much of the north's history?

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