Sunday, July 31, 2005

Version 1.2.3

Version 1.2.3 adds the ability to view panoramas in anaglyph mode.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Opportunity Sol 539 Anaglyph

Friday, July 29, 2005

Complete Navcam Pans for Opportunity Posted

Midnight Mars Browser metadata now includes pretty much all of the complete navcam panoramas for Opportunity. Sol 360 to present was done by hand, since the full image information hasn't been released.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Big Update - Version 1.2.2, Panoramas for Sols 270-360

Midnight Mars Browser version 1.2.2 is now up, continuing the solidification of the new Panorama feature. In particular, this version fixes an issue where some images were not displayed in the correct positions. Also some basic mouse control has been added. This would be a good version to download, if you've been waiting, as it may be the last software update for awhile; I will be working on creating new panorama definitions and taking some time off.

Note that instructions for using the Panorama feature have now been included in the README file. In particular, one frequently asked question is, "How do I zoom in and out?" The answer is: you use the A and Z keys. Or in version 1.2.2, you can hold down the alt key and move the mouse up or down.

In addition, generated panorama definitions for Sols 271-360 are now online! If you have Automatic Updates enabled, the definitions should be downloaded automatically by the program during the next update. You could also use the "Update Metadata" menu option to get them. The panorama definitions for Sols 1-270 have also been regenerated, with some refinements.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Here's a screenshot of one of the new panoramas from Opportunity...

Opportunity - Burns Cliff

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Spirit Sol 556

Originally uploaded by marscat.
This is the view looking down at 40 degrees in the direction that Spirit is facing as of Sol 556, after a turn and bump forward.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Monday, July 25, 2005

Spirit Sol 551-554

Spirit Sol 551-554
Originally uploaded by marscat.
Overlay of pancam false color images on Spirit Sol 551-554. In the forground is "Voltaire".

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Opportunity Sol 496-498

Opportunity Sol 496-498
Originally uploaded by marscat.
This is a combination of navcam and false-color pancam images from from Opportunity Sol 496-498, looking back at Purgatory Dune. Some new panoramas (including this one) have been posted as Midnight Mars Browser metadata updates.

Opportunity Sol 530-531 Panorama

Opportunity Sol 530-531 Panorama
Originally uploaded by marscat.
The Opportunity Sol 530-531 Panorama is now posted, here is a screenshot. This is a combination of navcam and pancam images.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Creating Panoramas

For those who would like to try it, basic instructions for creating navcam panoramas using Midnight Mars Browser 1.2.1 are now in the instructions file. These techniques are intended for advanced users only.

Spirit Sol 551 Panorama

Originally uploaded by marscat.
The metadata for the Spirit Sol 551 navcam panorama has now been posted. As you can see in the screenshot, this is a nice one because two dust devils are visible on the plains.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Midnight Mars Browser version 1.2.1

Midnight Mars Browser version 1.2.1 features numerous improvements to the new Panorama feature. For performance, thumbnail images are now displayed until you press "F" or select the "Full Resolution" menu option under the Navigate menu. Thumbnail size has been increased from 128x128 to 256x256 to work optimally with panoramas. If you are upgrading from version 1.2, you should delete the thumbnails directory in the MidnightMarsBrowser home directory, so that the program will rebuild the thumbnails at the improved resolution. Panoramas will load much faster the second time, as the on the first load the thumbnails may need to be created.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Spirit Navcam Panorama Sol 550

Spirit Navcam Panorama Sol 550
Originally uploaded by marscat.
Screenshot of a Midnight Mars Browser panorama of Spirit Navcam images taken on Sol 550. In the forground I believe is the latest rock outcrop that Spirit will investigate, as mentioned in the latest Steve Squyres mission update.

A new version of Midnight Mars Browser should be posted in a few minutes, if my connection to .Mac holds out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Make That 0.7 degrees

Yes, I know, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about... Suffice it to say, Spirit navcam panoramas are starting to look pretty nice.

I noticed that on Windows the menus don't work from the Panorama window. Actually the keyboard equivalents work, but you can't actually see the menus when they drop down over the panorama view, making them kind of useless. This will be fixed in 1.2.1, which should be out this weekend if not before.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by marscat.
Here's an MMB-generated pan from Opportunity Sol 526.

Twisted Tales

Did you know that Spirit's left navigation camera is twisted from straight-up-and-down orientation by about (my current best approximation) 0.8 degrees? You learn things like this when you start putting panoramas together...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

First Post-270 Panorama

Originally uploaded by marscat.
This weekend's work on the Midnight Mars Browser software has been adding the ability to create panoramas manually. The panorama shown is from Opportunity Sol 516. Purgatory Dune, where the rover was dug in for a month, is visible in the background. A couple other views of the panorama are available if you click through the link. This is the first post-Sol 270 panorama to be created in Midnight Mars Browser; the detailed image data (including camera pointing information) for Sols 270 on has not been released yet, so a manual panorama creation feature is needed to create pans for recent sols such as this one.

The panorama is available for Midnight Mars Browser 1.2 through the latest Metadata Update. The panorama title is "Sol 516 (test)".

Unfortunately I didn't have time to polish up the panorama creation feature enough to release it this weekend, but maybe next weekend. In the meantime some panorama definitions for recent sols could appear through Metadata Update this week, depending on how things go.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Windblown Dust

Originally uploaded by marscat.
Opportunity Sol 505 false-color.

Tracks Over the Shoulder

Originally uploaded by marscat.
Opportunity Sol 501 false-color.

Just Pretty

Originally uploaded by marscat.
Nice to see that the Exploratorium site is updating again. This image false-color image is from Opportunity Sol 498.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Version 1.2: Live Panoramas

Midnight Mars Browser version 1.2 introduces the Panorama feature, which allows you to explore an environment composed of rover images. This is still a work in progress, so consider the Panorama feature to be in an experimental stage. Use at your own risk. I'm releasing it now because I know there are some people out there who want to see it if it's not completely polished.

Java 3D is required to use the new feature, so read the updated installation instructions for the link to go download and install it. The program should function without Java 3D if you don't need to use the Panorama feature.

At the moment pans are only defined for Sols 1 through 270 on both rovers. The next thing I'll be working on is tools to quickly create panoramas for sols after 270, for which complete data hasn't been released by NASA/JPL.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Another Panorama

Originally uploaded by marscat.
Now that flickr is back up...

Work Continues

I would post some new images tonight, but flickr isn't behaving. Work on the upcoming pan feature continues. (I think I've finally got a schedule that works for doing this stuff: nine to midnight. But only thanks to caffeine.)

Let's see if Blogger Images works. Here is a false-color image of the Independence area (I think) Spirit checked out over the holiday weekend:

Monday, July 04, 2005

Another Panorama

Originally uploaded by marscat.
Here's another fun screenshot. There are a few more if you follow the link to flickr.


Originally uploaded by marscat.
Here is a screenshot of Midnight Mars Browser's new live pan feature, currently under development.