Friday, March 31, 2006

Flickr Slideshows


Here is a Flickr Slideshow of the turn that Spirit is currently executing. This is the first time I've tried a Flickr slideshow; it's kind of neat but I wish there was a way to view both the individual pictures and the slideshow as a whole at a larger size more easily. I also wish there was a "Blog Slideshow" button in Flickr.

I'm not sure why Spirit is turning; I thought she was stuck and just thrashing around at first.

Update: here is a movie of Opportunity's trip South from Erebus, in progress.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Version 1.4.6

Midnight Mars Browser version 1.4.6 fixes a couple bugs and makes a change to the de-vignetting feature introduced in the previous version.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Monday, March 13, 2006

The "Multiple Instance" Warning

A couple people have asked about this already, so I better mention it: If you are getting a warning message when MMB starts up, you probably don't need to worry about it. A version or two ago I added this warning message to try to make sure people don't run multiple "instances" of MMB at the same time. Unfortunately it doesn't work very well, and the warning message doesn't explain things very well. So if you get that message, and MMB isn't already running, just continue and press "Yes". I will at least clarify the language in the warning message next time around.

(If you want to know the technical details, MMB is creating a file to track when it is running, and this file isn't getting cleaned up when MMB is shut down in some cases. It's not a very good system to begin with, but I don't know another way to do it at the moment. Perhaps some Java expert out there can enlighten me.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Clouds at Erebus

Too neat not to post:


You might see the cloud pictures elsewhere, but now you know where they fit into the local scenery. The view is facing directly South at Opportunity's current position.


Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has safely entered orbit. Fantastic news.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Version 1.4.5 (the de-vignetting version)

Midnight Mars Browser version 1.4.5 has been posted. This version adds support for de-vignetting images displayed in Panorama mode. I've been posting images made using this feature on the Flickr page for several days now, such as this one:


The feature is not perfect, but it helps to smooth out the joins between images.

Some notes about this feature:

  • The brightness and devignetting adjustments are not automatic, the parameters have to be set manually. Usually I make those adjustments to a panorama add them to the metadata, so that the program picks up the adjustments automatically. Panoramas that have not had brightness/devignetting adjustments added will appear as normal even when you check "Adjust raw image brightness" in the Panorama dialog.
  • The "Adjust raw image brightness" checkbox in the Panorama dialog turns both brightness and devignettign adjustment on or off.
  • Brightness/devignetting adjustments are made "on the fly" as the images are loaded; the raw images stored on disk are not modified. The raw images stored on disk always remain exactly as downloaded from JPL or Exploratorium.
  • Currently, generated images have brightness and devignetting adjustments made at the time they are generated. You will sometimes see images being regenerated automatically during an update when the brightness/devignetting metadata has been updated.
  • It is possible to play with the brightness/devignetting parameters of images yourself, but I'll have to document how that's done later.
  • Added a "Export Pan Images..." menu option under File->Advanced. This allows you to export the images displayed in a MMB panorama to a directory, so that they can easily be imported into an external program, such as Autostitch. Hidden images are not exported. Currently the export option does ignores which images are selected and exports all images which are visible (I may fix this in the future).

As another example, here is the same view with brightness adjustment and de-vignetting turned on and off:



Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser