Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Version 1.5.1

Version 1.5.1 of the Midnight Mars Browser software fixes the Export Pan feature to support Hugin, as an alternative to PTGui. The pan export Navcam FOV is also adjusted slightly.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

All The Way to "Duck Bay"

More Pancams came down:


"Duck Bay" Pancams

About 25-50 meters from the edge now...


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Victoria in View II

200x80 degree cylindrical projection from Opportunity Sol 934:


Victoria in View


We haven't arrived at the rim yet, but Victoria Crater is now, for the first time, plainly in view. I have to eat my earlier words about what we were seeing, apparantly.

The next couple weeks should be very interesting, as they say...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Version 1.5.0

Version 1.5.0 of the Midnight Mars Browser software is now posted on the download page. The major addition to this version is support for PTGui (a software package for stitching panoramas on Windows). The "Export Pan Images and PTGui Project File..." menu option (under File->Advanced), formerly the "Export Pan Images..." option, now outputs a PTGui project file as well as the images from the panorama. I use this feature and PTGui to generate most of the images posted on Marscat's Flickr page now. PTGui can stitch panoramas in equirectangular, cylindrical or rectilinear projection. Note that subframe rover images are not supported at this time and are not added to the PTGui project file (although the images themselves are still exported).

Also, the "##" vs. "__" duplicate image problem has been addressed. Images have "##" in the filename when the rover motion counter exceeds its maximum displayable value (until it is reset for the next 'site'). Unfortunately the JPL raw images site changes these "##" characters to "__" for somewhat mysterious reasons, resulting in MMB downloading duplicate images with slightly different filenames. Version 1.5.0 changes "__" files to "##" files when downloading. Also, if you rebuild image indexes, "__" files will not be indexed, so these duplicates will not appear in Slideshow (although they will not be deleted off your hard drive if they are already there).

There are also some fixes for image indexing, including an unpleasant error that could occur if you had extraneous images in the MMB image directories.

And finally, as usual, there are probably a bunch of little things that have been fixed that I haven't kept proper track of.

Download the latest version of Midnight Mars Browser

Still Emma Dean

Opportunity's visit to "Emma Dean" is stretching on a bit, for reasons that aren't entirely clear... At least the rover appears to be healthy and finally doing something. Perhaps this coming week we will see some real movement. In the meantime, here's a cylindrical projection of "Emma Dean" done using MMB and PTGui:


Monday, September 11, 2006

"Emma Dean"

Well, while we're waiting for our close-up with Victoria, here's part of "Emma Dean". False-color, obviously.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006



Victoria Crater is now plainly in sight on the horizon - indeed we are only about 100 meters from its nearest edge. The interesting thing, though, is that there is still a lot of debate about what we are seeing, at least in the rover-watching community. Consensus, for the moment, seems to have formed around the - incorrect, I would say - opinion that we are not truly seeing the inside of the far rim yet, but instead are seeing the plains beyond the crater. I would disagree, but things should become clearer when we finally pull up to the rim in the next few days... we hope. Then again, things might not become clearer. So far, Victoria has proven amazingly enigmatic even at close range.

The view above is a 200 degree by 90 degree equirectangular projection of combined Navcam and Pancam images from Opportunity Sol 929. The minor crater in the foreground is "Emma Dean".

Edit: I guess I'm coming around to the opinion that we are seeing the plains beyond Victoria, as well as part of the inside rim. That would mean that the large hill-like feature on the horizon is probably huge and far away. But wow, it sure is hard to tell, even from where we are, less than 100m from the near rim.