Curious about Curiosity - Page 15

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Posts: 3465

Reply: 281

PostPosted: August 18, 2012 1:08 PM 

Rock N165 ( MastCam | Pancam || raw | enhanced ):

If I were pointing the laser I would zap the little "green" rocks below N165.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 282

PostPosted: August 18, 2012 2:51 PM 

Oooh! Aaaahh!

That's it. I'm done.

The file size for this image is 39.2 KB - for a "full-size" 1024x1024 JPG!

That's a compression ratio of about 40x from the original data.

Only about a third of the brightness range is used and biased towards the dark side.

The resulting JPG artifacts are awful.

These "raw" images contain about as much useful information as a lossless 200x200 8 bit "thumbnail" image.

That's about 25x smaller than the original 1024x1024 image.

A typical MER navcam image file is between 150 and 300 KB in size -- eight times bigger! Pancam files range from 300 to 400 KB and the MI files are typically 150 to 350 KB in size.

I believe these silly MSL "raw" images are an attempt to "lock out" the unwashed masses from processing the MSL image data and "scooping" the "big guys".

Fine. Consider me gone from MSL. I will follow the golly-gee-whiz coverage like the general public -- on Fox News.

( BTW, I never watch Faux News. )


Posts: 3062

Reply: 283

PostPosted: August 18, 2012 3:28 PM 

If I were pointing the laser, I would turn over N165 and immediately, if not sooner, zap whatever is underneath it with the laser.

I would also zap the little green rocks near to N165



Posts: 692

Reply: 284

PostPosted: August 18, 2012 5:50 PM 

Calm down, relax, just wait for the "guys" to use their tools to make us... they just need to align their tools...BUT we need to know where the RAW images are!


Posts: 3062

Reply: 285

PostPosted: August 18, 2012 7:40 PM 


The situation with the caramel colour Mars and the white balanced colour mars is now getting very interesting.

With Curiosity, where the colour cameras are essentially standard, but very superior, consumer type digital cameras, the cameras are producing images with the colours that we would see on Earth. i.e greens and blues and grey skies, etc. In fact the colours that many of us produced from L456's or even L257's for the Mer rovers.

But it can't be admitted that those colours are indeed the colours of Mars so it is spun that the real colours of Mars are the caramel colours with standard pink skies, while the blues and greens and greys and reds and oranges, etc are now being demonstrated to be actually what the human eye would often see on Mars through the haze due to the dust cover and low intensity lighting.

It is all spin.

It is not explicity admitted that those caramel colours are obtained by adding a correction factor to the images to obtain colours that corresponds with the mind image that NASA/JPL/MSSS have always had that mars should look like always.

imho, the white balanced images portray the real colours of Mars. When conditions are normal they will show normal earth like colours of blues and greens etc. But when conditions are dusty or at certain sun angles they will themselves show the official caramel colours,the pink skies, etc. There will be times when the white balanced curiosity images will show the official colours.

It has taken just 1 1/2 weeks of Curiosity on Mars to make this quite obvious. I just wonder what other shibboleths Curiosity will impact.

It is no wonder that the policy on release of raw images has changed.



Posts: 344

Reply: 286

PostPosted: August 18, 2012 11:53 PM 


"We're NASA and We Know It" youtube parody video.


Posts: 692

Reply: 287

PostPosted: August 19, 2012 9:51 AM 

LWS, I can understand why the Mars colours is not as fresh as Earthly colours. Because the lack of the clear blue sky we have on our Earth. Anyway most of the colour spectrum on Mars is the same as on Earth, but the ambient light will differ, some kind of martian athmosphere filtering.

But we need the RAW images, not only the 'raw' as present.

Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 288

PostPosted: August 19, 2012 3:44 PM 

Horton, Re your 282, I've been wondering if the managers of this mission would be as generous in distributing the images as NASA has been for the MER missions. I'm sorry to hear that so far it looks like they might be more "secretive". I'm hoping that this situation will be fixed. Maybe complaints from the taxpayers who funded all this will be necessary.

How will independent scientists access the Curiosity results? Will they have to apply for permission? Will they be vetted to see if their published ideas line up with John Grotzinger's ideas? Preventing Burt and Knauth from seeing the MER results would probably have stopped them from publishing a much simpler explanation of Meridiani than the "Ancient Earth-like Mars" crowd can come up with. What an embarrassment. Better to keep all the data in the family.

I'm hoping my rant here is premature and will turn out to be mistaken.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 289

PostPosted: August 19, 2012 7:34 PM 

Hort, re275 I agree,the Chemcam quality on the MSL RAW site is disappointing, hope they will get this settled.
In the meantime, the panorama from the mastcam is very intriguing.

I am not a geologist, but my favourite activity as a child (apart from watching the sky, building rockets and electrical stuff) was exploring fossils in the
limestone made of fossilised coral reefs covering large parts of Gotland in the Baltic Sea (Re 265).

Parts of the Curiosity landing site surroundings, in particular where the dust has been removed by the thrusters, look very similar to these limestone formations that in some places easily break off in sheets.

Looking through the panoramas there are so many intersting rocks that seem to be non-random with convex or concave , often

symmetrical patterns on them? Concretions? The discs somewhat resemble the rusty iron pieces that sometimes can be found in limestone.

Some examples:


Posts: 3465

Reply: 290

PostPosted: August 19, 2012 7:59 PM 

PIA16075: First Laser-Zapped Rock on Mars .

Well G-ooo-lll-yyy!


Posts: 3465

Reply: 291

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 11:11 AM 

Sol 0013 Mastcam RIGHT images.

STILL no link from the MSL "raw" page to the right Mastcam images.

More sol 13 disgusting Chemcam images.

I refuse to post the god'awful things any more.


Posts: 692

Reply: 292

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 11:53 AM 

I have a $50 web-camera which would do a far better job on MSL. JPL should asked me.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 293

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 12:15 PM 

No, no, no. Mizar, you're missing the whole POINT! The problem is NOT the cameras! The camera's are engineering marvels.

The problem is the POST-PROCESSING of images - the conversion from the original data to the "raw" images that the program so generously "shares" with the public.

A decision was made to cripple the public images so that absolutely no one outside of the loop could "scoop" the "big guys" pretty pictures.

This is quite petty because the "real" scientific data is already hidden from public view.

Where are the "raw" Chemcam spectra? A hint: You ain't gonn'a see any.

The more elaborate data sets and potentially exciting - perhaps Earth moving - sets will not see the light of day until the principals have picked them clean of all interest.

Yawn. I think I will take a nap.


Posts: 692

Reply: 294

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 1:44 PM 

Well, I understand, and also knew that. I had a pretty big curiosity (!) to see Mars with new eyes, and so far the eyes on Mars seems to suffer of cataract, or maybe worse - the operators show us images seen through ... fine woven chicken wire. That's too bad.


Posts: 250

Reply: 295

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 2:38 PM 

Horton, hopefully the MSL (real) science data other than pictures will get more open access this time!

This was quite promising early on:


Posts: 655

Reply: 296

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 2:39 PM 

Absolutely dissapointing Sad
Kinda reminds me of how photographers smear vaseline on the camera lens to take pictures of aging Divas.
I guess I see why NASA did this but it is very dissapointing to wait so long for this and then have them suck all the fun out of it and leave us with truly substandard images.


Posts: 692

Reply: 297

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 3:12 PM 

Here is a somewhat better listings of the "raw" images available to us

r lewis

Posts: 202

Reply: 298

PostPosted: August 20, 2012 3:56 PM 

I feel your pain Horton. The MER team was always wiling to share their best data and share it quickly. Clearly the MER team was an anomaly within the culture of NASA.

Unfortunately, the scientists and other academics that run the program make their careers from two things: writing papers and defending the status quo. If they don't produce scientific papers their careers will be ruined, so they need to selfishly protect any data that they have, from us and from each other. They also need to maintain the status quo. Anything that changes about the status quo on Mars means that one of them at one time was wrong; this can not be.

Silly humans are always more interested in their own selfish interests than marveling at the beauty of the universe around them.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 299

PostPosted: August 21, 2012 4:50 AM 

Interesting what you say about the colour images Winston. Being an astronomical imager, the first thing I did was to import the caramel pics into my processing program, where it immediately became obvious that the histogram was way out, hence the need for white balance. I just cannot see how a non white balanced image can in any way be classed as true colour... Confused

Luke Inch Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: August 21, 2012 5:55 AM 

Having gotten over the intial euphoria of the landing and the first glorious views of Gale Crater, I know I'm not alone in becoming increasingly frustrated and disappointed by the brutal, lossy compression applied to the images made available to the public. This unexpected cloaking of real data contrasts badly with the openness we've become used to from the brilliant MER team. That set me thinking, what's the legal situation here? Does the MSL team actually have the right to withhold the true data?

According to the US Freedom of Information Act, "Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying ... copies of all records, regardless of form or format, which have been released to any person ... and which, because of the nature of their subject matter, ... have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records".

So, if everyone interested in the open, scientific inspection of the real data were to submit a FOIA Request, would NASA then have to release the unprocessed images? What do you think, is this a line worth pursuing?

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