Monday, October 15, 2007

New Panorama Confirms NASA's Color Problem

We have now found a color panorama (PIA01907) which actually shows the rover color calibration dial and the Martian sky above. Once again, when we correct the color so that the dial appears as it does on Earth in normal light, the sky on Mars goes from the absurd NASA "Technicolor red" to a fairly normal "Arizona Blue."

So again, why does NASA keep modifying the color images taken from the surface to make Mars appear alien and forbidding?

(We will be posting a full size version of this image later on Dark


  1. My dog was going nuts at the front door. I looked out the window and saw the UPS truck fleeing.
    On the front porch a package from
    It's the book.
    Dark Mission, the secret history of NASA.
    Christmas came early this year.

  2. Cool! Be sure and leave a review on Amazon when you are finished.

  3. In the 15th century when the whole world was opened up to discovery and colonization the old money European power brokers saw this upstart country form out of nothing and become a superpower.

    It took them over 400 years to gain control over the political and economic structure of this new 'phenomenon'. some would say they still dont have the control they would like.

    there is a very real and valid fear of a return to the idea of 'colonialism' on a solar-system wide basis.

    can you imagine what kind of power a nation located on the moon would have over the entire Earth?

    how about a group living on Mars with a whole new (even if small) planet to explore and exploit?

    how can it be controlled? taxed? competed with?

    i think the answer to all your questions are based on nothig more than the age old issues of power and control...

  4. Big Mike,

    I live in Manhattan. went to B& dice. dice. They're telling me the 1st of November. What the deally? Amazon for now?

  5. I will agree the launch site at White Sands (for Von Braun's early U.S. rocket program) being called "launch pad 33" is unusual.

    I will point out that to say "the one and only" runway at Cape Canaveral is called "runway 33" is slightly misleading. Just to clarify, especially for a public readership not well versed in aviation lore, runways are numbered by azimuth or heading as you approach it. Each runway is really two runways. If you land from the south at Kennedy Space Center, you have a runway with a heading of 330 degrees. Runways are named/numbered by dropping the third digit, to save time in calling it out to a pilot and to save paint on the end of the runway, so 330 degrees becomes runway 33. If you approach the runway from the other end, it is a heading of 150 degrees and is called/numbered runway 15.
    It can conveniently be explained by the lay of the land on the cape, and yet it is still "mysterious" that one end of the only runway is "runway 33." Back then they probably had a large budget and a lot of open space from which to choose a runway location. And filling swamplands wasn't as hard to do then, as far as EPA regulations, etc. But the present aligment does seem logical if you want the runway close to the launch pads. (And the other end of the same runway is "runway 15", an anagram of 51,--51 degrees being close to the number use to divide a circle into seven equal parts, as in the "magickal" symbol on page 278, linked to Von Karman, Jack Parsons, and JPL--and also 51 as in "area 51.)
    (And NASA/Goddard is located on an azimuth of 51 degrees from the Pentagon, for what it's worth.) ;)

  6. Prof Taylor,

    Just distribution problems. B&N just doubled their order, so we can hope that they will be getting the books before November 1st.

    Try Barnes and They told us yesterday they have books ready to ship.

  7. Gort,

    Even if all you said is true, they still laid it out so it would be "runway 33," just like they have TWO pad 39's (39\2=19.5).

    How is that misleading? It is called Runway 33.

  8. I pre-ordered on September 3rd and I'm still waiting for my copy to be processed, let alone ship :(

    I imagine they've got more than just one or two orders to sort through...

  9. Dear Mr. Hoagland and Mr. Bara,

    First of all I would like to thank Mr. Hoagland for his work, that I follow since '98, that I consider something like a light for my soul.

    I haven't still bought the book ( better yet ... I bought it but I still didn't receive it ), so I hope that what I'm about to say isn't in the book itself. If it is please forgive me.

    The fact is that since 2004, NASA is showing on the website of Spirit and Opportunity ( ), these amazing photos of a glass tower, on each side of the planet.

    The links are:

    ( just check SOL 94 on the navigation camera and the panoramic camera both on Spirit and Opportunity ).

    I've been waiting since '04 to ask Mr. Hoagland what he thinks about this matter, and he never made an article about this, only now with this forum I have the opportunity ( eh-eh ).

    Once again thank you for everything you've taught me.

  10. Mike, I agree the symbolism is there in Runway 33 and Launch Complex 39a and 39b. I was just trying to point out that one could argue it is really runway 15, or runway 15/33. calls it "Shuttle Landing Facility"
    Also, the Launch Complex 33 at White Sands(or part of Fort Bliss?)
    appears to be near 33 degrees north. The southern border of NM (east of El Paso) is 32 North.
    If the launch site itself was south of 33, the down range areas appear to be north of 33, so maybe that where/why the name originated. But still "symbolic" and strange.
    I have only read chapter 5, chapter 12 and the epilog so far.(and the introduction on-line)
    Chapter 5 was great, it really explained a lot. It read like a "who-dunnit".

  11. Gort,

    Glad you like it so far. I got a copy to Chris Matthews of "Hardball" tonight.

    Gary, you certainly made threats. I have copies of the emails.

    Unit - Get a life and give me a break.

  12. Prof Taylor - I just don't that much about how the World Bank works, but I think on the Face of it, your idea has merit.

    "M", I meant to say that the lighting conditions on Mars are NOT different than on Earth. I had a chat with Hoagy this morning, and he's going to work up a new post sometime today which will illustrate the point. I'll post it as soon as I get it.

  13. Unit - Get a life and give me a break.

    I did - I came to the conclusion that MR is Schizophrenic.

  14. Cheers Mike - I was hoping that would be the case.

    I suppose one handy outcome with pushing the colours towards the red channel is that it helps to shift anything that's naturally green towards black

  15. Why we'd be "back" to the moon in 24 months!

    Where are Ken's Pictures of getting in and out of the LEM ?

  16. Unfortunately this kind of white balance color correction does not prove anything. It only shows what the Martian landscape would look like on a sunny day under an Earth sky. The only thing we can know for sure about the "corrected" Martian sky in that picture is that it is wrong. Both the color chart and the landscape reflect light, which gets corrected. The sky on the other hand is direct light. The only way to know for sure what NASA has been doing is if we had some direct light source on the rover for which the light spectrum was known. A couple of LEDs would do the job, but NASA does not need that because they know the characteristics of their cameras and color filters. The reason for bringing the color chart to Mars is not to get a corrected picture, but to be able to correct for the Martian light conditions such that the stones can be seen in their true colors as if they had been brought back to Earth. That is a smart thing to do if you have geologists working on classifying the stones. But sorry, this kind of color correction alchemy will never tell us if NASA is fooling us or not.

  17. Polygonal Shapes, such as those in Cydonia, are predictions of the Electric Universe model.

  18. Polygonal Shapes, such as those in Cydonia, are predictions of the Electric Universe model.

  19. Mike,
    On page 4 a typo(?). The Old Man in the Mountain is not in New Jersey. I think it is either in New Hampshire or New Braska ;)
    Check your pocket for a new hampshire quarter.

  20. From re the color of Mars:
    "As you will see for yourself, the so-called "Red Planet" actually will appear closer to a yellow-orange tint – the same color of a dry desert under a high sun."

    By: Joe Rao Skywatching columnist

    Mars in the Morning: Red Planet Grows Brighter
    Posted 28 September 2007
    06:61 am ET

    Gort>Looks like not everyone buys the NASA technicolor red. :)

  21. Big Mike,

    Is the "forests on Mars " guy making that up? Are his photos real?

  22. Gustavo,

    The Apollo 20 video looks phoney to me, I've never believed it was real.

    PT - Got a link to the forrests on Mars guy? I've never seen this.

    Guy - Let us know if the book shows up in India, that would be cool!

  23. Mike,

    Other business aside, as I've said before, you cannot use auto colour adjust to colour correct these photos. Manual colour correction can only be done with a desired effect in mind. In both images, the rover is more less the colour that it appears on earth. The second picture is not accurate, as once again all the colours are hot. You could just as easily maintain the colour of the rover and turn the sky green.

    It would make no sense that the colour of the Martian sky should be blue. The atmosphere on Mars is completely different than the atmosphere on Earth. The light is also traveling a greater distance to reach Mars. I have found the following excerpt on a page which explains, in detail, why the sky is blue on Earth. The page also used Mars as an example to explain why the atmosphere must be the correct compsition to result in the bluing of the sky:

    Notice that this argument depends very little on the composition of the atmosphere. Any clear atmosphere of more or less Earthlike size and density, lit by a sun whose light appears more or less white, would result in a blue sky.
    The color pictures from Mars Pathfinder are a spectacular reminder that the sky is not blue on Mars. Instead, it has colors that have been described as everything from "orange-pink" to "gray-tan", as was discovered in the 1970s by the Viking landers. This is because the atmosphere of Mars is very thin and dusty, and atmospheric light scattering is dominated not by the molecules of gas (in the case of Mars, mostly carbon dioxide) but by suspended dust particles. These are larger than the wavelengths of visible light, and they are reddened by iron oxide, like Martian soil. It's not just Rayleigh scattering, so the power spectrum is different.

    (emphasis mine)

    This also helps to answer the questions of some of your readers who were confused as to why everything on Mars would be red -- iron, when oxidized, turns red. There is reason to believe that Mars once had water on its surface. It is believed that the wet atmosphere cause the iron-rich Martian soil to oxidize, along with almost every iron-rich stone and outcrop. This happened long ago. There is not enough oxygen in the Martian atmosphere to do this, today.


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