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Author Topic: Phoenix touches down  (Read 3152 times)
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msduncan
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« on: May 26, 2008, 02:22:07 AM »

Phoenix Lander has successfully touched down on Mars' north pole.

First Image:

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WYBaugh8
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2008, 02:27:22 AM »

My 8 year old son and I have been watching the landing since around 30 minutes before touchdown.  Just amazing what the scientists and engineers can do.  From the pictures it looks like everything worked perfectly.
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msduncan
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2008, 02:36:16 AM »

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msduncan
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008, 02:37:05 AM »

Phoenix has had successful solar array deployment:

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Canuck
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2008, 02:47:44 AM »

FAKE!
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wonderpug
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2008, 03:06:37 AM »

Very very cool.  Glad we're back.
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2008, 03:59:56 AM »

New Mexico looks nice this time of year  slywink
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msduncan
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2008, 04:15:18 AM »

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msduncan
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2008, 04:16:30 AM »

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Sarkus
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2008, 04:57:04 AM »

Hey . . . is that a footprint?

 eek
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2008, 06:01:37 AM »

Uh, dudes, this is the 21st century - how about we try this in (fake... er, extrapolated) color:

« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 06:03:11 AM by Pyperkub » Logged

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Canuck
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2008, 07:14:55 AM »

I was going to say-what century are we in?  NASA faked the moon landings much more believably smile
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Canuck
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2008, 07:18:50 AM »

My version:

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Pyperkub
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2008, 07:26:11 AM »

Here's another:



FWIW, these are the colors as estimated by NASA:

Quote
This is an approximate-color image taken shortly after landing by the spacecraft's Surface Stereo Imager, inferred from two color filters, a violet, 450-nanometer filter and an infrared, 750-nanometer filter.
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2008, 07:29:04 AM »

Too bad all the pheonix can do is just sit there and dig.  But it'll still be interesting what pheonix finds.
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JohnathanStrange
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2008, 01:53:00 PM »

New Mexico and Mars looked strangely similar. Hmmm....
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Ironrod
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2008, 02:05:23 PM »

Why didn't they name this mission "Viking 3"? It feels like a rerun, except our greater familiarity with the Martian surface dulls the excitement that accompanied those first Viking panoramas, with their red rocks and pink sky. I hope Phoenix's science results are more definitive than the Vikings were.
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msduncan
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2008, 02:24:31 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on May 26, 2008, 02:05:23 PM

Why didn't they name this mission "Viking 3"? It feels like a rerun, except our greater familiarity with the Martian surface dulls the excitement that accompanied those first Viking panoramas, with their red rocks and pink sky. I hope Phoenix's science results are more definitive than the Vikings were.

Well they are farther North this time, in an area that our orbital vehicles have said has water ice just below the surface by less than an inch.    This lets them hopefully scoop up ice and analyze it.     

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed when I found out they were not going to actually land ON the ice cap, but just to the south of it.
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Rumpy
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2008, 06:20:20 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on May 26, 2008, 02:05:23 PM

Why didn't they name this mission "Viking 3"? It feels like a rerun, except our greater familiarity with the Martian surface dulls the excitement that accompanied those first Viking panoramas, with their red rocks and pink sky. I hope Phoenix's science results are more definitive than the Vikings were.

Because, this is essentially the mission that replaces the failed Mars Polar Lander from years back. The mission that caused a lot of sadness and depression within NASA due to its failure. The one that made NASA second-guess itself. The one that made us wonder if we should just give up space exploration altogether.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 06:22:35 PM by Rumpy » Logged
Ironrod
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2008, 09:41:00 PM »

Quote from: Rumpy on May 26, 2008, 06:20:20 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 26, 2008, 02:05:23 PM

Why didn't they name this mission "Viking 3"? It feels like a rerun, except our greater familiarity with the Martian surface dulls the excitement that accompanied those first Viking panoramas, with their red rocks and pink sky. I hope Phoenix's science results are more definitive than the Vikings were.

Because, this is essentially the mission that replaces the failed Mars Polar Lander from years back. The mission that caused a lot of sadness and depression within NASA due to its failure. The one that made NASA second-guess itself. The one that made us wonder if we should just give up space exploration altogether.

The mission that failed to translate metric to english system measurements, IIRC. The Vikings landed in the most sterile desert, while Phoenix is aiming for the wettest place they know. But it's still a lineal descendant of the Viking landers.

Here's the case for hoping it doesnt find life. I don't agree, but it's a fun argument anyway. The setup:
Quote
If they were wise, they'd hope that our probes discover nothing. It would be great news to find that Mars is a completely sterile planet.

On the other hand, if we discovered traces of some simple extinct life form - a bacterium, some algae - it would be bad news. If we found fossils of something even more advanced, like a trilobite or even the skeleton of a small mammal, it would be horrible news. The more complex the life we found, the more depressing. Scientifically interesting, yes, but dire news for the future of the human race.

Why? To understand the real meaning of such a discovery is to realize just what it means that the universe has been so silent for so long - why we have been listening for other civilizations for decades and yet have heard nothing.


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Moliere
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2008, 12:23:39 AM »

Quote from: WYBaugh8 on May 26, 2008, 02:27:22 AM

Just amazing what the scientists and engineers can do. 


And Jesus   icon_wink
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2008, 04:03:49 AM »

Quote from: Rumpy on May 26, 2008, 06:20:20 PM

Because, this is essentially the mission that replaces the failed Mars Polar Lander from years back. The mission that caused a lot of sadness and depression within NASA due to its failure. The one that made NASA second-guess itself. The one that made us wonder if we should just give up space exploration altogether.

It's stunning to realize that one little blast from a top-secret cloaked Martian Particle Beam of Annihilation could cause that much anguish.
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The Meal
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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2008, 03:15:14 PM »

Pimped on other sites, but when it comes to inter-solar-system science, I can't recommend more-highly Emily Lakdawalla's The Planetary Society Weblog.

Samples from this weekend:
Quote
Smith said such pithy things as: "I know it looks a little like a parking lot, but that's a safe place to land. That makes it exactly where we want to be. Underneath this surface, I guarantee there's ice. You can see lots of pebbles, and soil, and all these troughs you see in between the polygons. These are probably about 15 feet [5 meters] across."

"This is probably the cutest polygon that I have ever seen...."
Post-landing press conference

Image context


OMG!  HiRISE caught the landing on camera!!!!
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Lassr
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2008, 06:28:05 PM »

Quote from: The Meal on May 27, 2008, 03:15:14 PM

Pimped on other sites, but when it comes to inter-solar-system science, I can't recommend more-highly Emily Lakdawalla's The Planetary Society Weblog.

Samples from this weekend:
Quote
Smith said such pithy things as: "I know it looks a little like a parking lot, but that's a safe place to land. That makes it exactly where we want to be. Underneath this surface, I guarantee there's ice. You can see lots of pebbles, and soil, and all these troughs you see in between the polygons. These are probably about 15 feet [5 meters] across."

"This is probably the cutest polygon that I have ever seen...."
Post-landing press conference

Image context


OMG!  HiRISE caught the landing on camera!!!!



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raydude
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2008, 07:47:40 PM »

I like what the bad astronomy dude says about that photo as well:

http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/05/26/best-image-ever/

"Think on this, and think on it carefully: you are seeing a manmade object falling gracefully and with intent to the surface of an alien world, as seen by another manmade object already circling that world, both of them acting robotically, and both of them hundreds of million of kilometers away.

Never, ever forget: we did this. This is what we can do."
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2008, 08:08:26 PM »

that was pretty sweet

I like this image as well from Bad Astronomy:

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Turtle
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2008, 03:15:03 AM »

That is hella cool.

Imagine the math they'd have to do to even point the camera on a satellite so far away at another object travelling so fast.

Where do those latest images come from, the same orbiter that caught the parachute?
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Sarkus
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2008, 03:43:52 AM »

I have a question:

Why is it that google earth has access to sattelite images that allow me to see individual people standing on different levels of the Eiffel Tower in Paris but the best NASA can do is show me a blurry turquoise colored blob for a car sized lander on the surface of Mars?

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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2008, 04:02:00 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on May 28, 2008, 03:43:52 AM

I have a question:

Why is it that google earth has access to sattelite images that allow me to see individual people standing on different levels of the Eiffel Tower in Paris but the best NASA can do is show me a blurry turquoise colored blob for a car sized lander on the surface of Mars?



Google has more money.
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Turtle
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« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2008, 06:13:27 AM »

Because NASA satellites have to have all sorts of extra stuff so that they can propel themselves and survive the long trip to Mars, which cuts down on the payload space and weight that could be used to put in more detailed cameras.  Sometimes these missions take years to reach their intended targets too.

Also, the lander was likely travelling at a high speed.  That grainy shot is the equivalent of trying to take a photograph of something under poor lighting conditions while both you and your subject are moving very quickly in different directions.
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« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2008, 10:20:29 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on May 28, 2008, 03:43:52 AM

I have a question:

Why is it that google earth has access to sattelite images that allow me to see individual people standing on different levels of the Eiffel Tower in Paris but the best NASA can do is show me a blurry turquoise colored blob for a car sized lander on the surface of Mars?

i'm no NASA engineer, but i'm guessing it has something to do with Mars being a few million miles away...
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msduncan
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« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2008, 11:36:46 AM »

Perspective:

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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2008, 05:12:26 PM »

Oh for the last time, NASA quite dumping your crap in my yard...i'm going to smash this thing I swear!
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Sarkus
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« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2008, 05:33:24 AM »

Apparently the conspiracy theorists are abuzz over this photo:

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/images/gallery/lg_440.jpg

Notice the white mark to the right of the center of the horizon line.

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« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2008, 09:16:04 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on May 28, 2008, 03:43:52 AM

I have a question:

Why is it that google earth has access to sattelite images that allow me to see individual people standing on different levels of the Eiffel Tower in Paris but the best NASA can do is show me a blurry turquoise colored blob for a car sized lander on the surface of Mars?



Because then it'll be too obvious that the pictures are fake.slywink
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Turtle
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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2008, 09:32:01 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on May 30, 2008, 05:33:24 AM

Apparently the conspiracy theorists are abuzz over this photo:

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/images/gallery/lg_440.jpg

Notice the white mark to the right of the center of the horizon line.

Wanna know the answer to that?

Look up a few posts to Pyperkub's image showing the whole area where the lander landed.

Notice those other objects?  Yep.  It's probably the parachute, with backshell attached, or the heat shield.  No need to get all conspiracy theory when there are more obvious answers.  Doing so is equivalent to all those nuts who find images of Jesus in pancake batter.  You don't take those nutjobs seriously, so why take conspiracy theorists who find government conspiracies and aliens in everything that might seem a little odd at first.

And frankly, if it was an object of interest on mars that wasn't man made, and not a glitch in the camera or some other process, then the scientific community would be the first to say something because that'd be a big finding, a finding that scientists have been wanting to announce for a very long time.

It's interesting though that with all the lander news, there was a bit of news about the two rovers.  Specifically how the partial breakdown of one of the rovers (one of its legs no longer works) led to them being able to do another experiment by using the broken leg, dragging it along to dig a small trench in the dirt, which uncovered a type silica that's typically (or was it so far known only to be) found in areas with water hot springs.

Msduncan, is the lander inside that giant crater, nearby, or did it pass it up completely?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 09:37:26 AM by Turtle » Logged
Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2008, 09:57:42 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 30, 2008, 09:32:01 AM

And frankly, if it was an object of interest on mars that wasn't man made, and not a glitch in the camera or some other process, then the scientific community would be the first to say something because that'd be a big finding, a finding that scientists have been wanting to announce for a very long time.

Not if the photo was taken somewhere in New Mexico or Nevada.
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msduncan
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« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2008, 11:40:21 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 30, 2008, 09:32:01 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on May 30, 2008, 05:33:24 AM

Apparently the conspiracy theorists are abuzz over this photo:

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/images/gallery/lg_440.jpg

Notice the white mark to the right of the center of the horizon line.

Wanna know the answer to that?

Look up a few posts to Pyperkub's image showing the whole area where the lander landed.

Notice those other objects?  Yep.  It's probably the parachute, with backshell attached, or the heat shield.  No need to get all conspiracy theory when there are more obvious answers.  Doing so is equivalent to all those nuts who find images of Jesus in pancake batter.  You don't take those nutjobs seriously, so why take conspiracy theorists who find government conspiracies and aliens in everything that might seem a little odd at first.

And frankly, if it was an object of interest on mars that wasn't man made, and not a glitch in the camera or some other process, then the scientific community would be the first to say something because that'd be a big finding, a finding that scientists have been wanting to announce for a very long time.

It's interesting though that with all the lander news, there was a bit of news about the two rovers.  Specifically how the partial breakdown of one of the rovers (one of its legs no longer works) led to them being able to do another experiment by using the broken leg, dragging it along to dig a small trench in the dirt, which uncovered a type silica that's typically (or was it so far known only to be) found in areas with water hot springs.

Msduncan, is the lander inside that giant crater, nearby, or did it pass it up completely?

At the time the photo was taken, it was 12 km in front of the crater.    The crater is just so massive that it makes it look like it's going down into it.   Pretty cool eh?

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Pyperkub
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« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2008, 06:03:13 PM »

Quote from: msduncan on May 30, 2008, 11:40:21 AM

At the time the photo was taken, it was 12 km in front of the crater.    The crater is just so massive that it makes it look like it's going down into it.   Pretty cool eh?

Extremely cool!   Bring your own!
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« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2008, 01:32:29 AM »

I know everyone is looking at the potential ice in the center top of this photo:



But what is that very different looking object or rock just to the right of the foot?
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