This challenge is brought
to you by MRO’s High
Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera team in
collaboration with NASA Quest. The HiRISE camera, now orbiting
Mars onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, is helping NASA
to search for signs of past and present water on Mars. Understanding
the history of water on Mars helps scientists understand if there
is now or ever has been life on Mars.
Scientists have argued for
water on Mars since the first Viking images of Mars were returned
nearly 30 years ago. Since
then, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey have collected more
images; now the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)
is using a camera attached to a very powerful telescope to look
down on the surface of Mars.
HiRISE is taking photos of Mars that are higher
in resolution (~30cm/pixel), showing more detail, than any previous
images. Objects as small
as a meter across, approximately the size of a teacher’s desk,
can be seen in the HiRISE images. This allows HiRISE to find small
features like interior channels, streambed features, and layering. Since
the HiRISE camera is “zoomed in” to look at very small regions
of Mars, it will only be able to image about 2% of the surface of the
planet. Thus each image has to count!
You are challenged to help choose some regions
of Mars for HiRISE to image that probably contained water at the surface
in the past. The
HiRISE team will pick several suggestions and image them with the camera
in the coming months. Your team will represent the first people
on Earth to see the resulting image and will have the chance to search
for signs of water in the image.
You can choose areas within a valley system or
outflow channel (like the source region or other interesting spot on
the floor or walls) or obtain a close-up of gullies imaged from past
missions. You can
also choose to re-image an interesting site already seen in a HiRISE
image to look for any changes that may indicate present geologic activity.
To increase your chances of getting your image picked sooner rather
than later, here are a few tips:
- Don’t pick a dusty area. A
large fraction of the planet is covered in dust, and a lot of dust means
that the surface features are hidden.
- Since we are entering Northern Summer and Southern
winter, lighting will be less optimal in the Southern hemisphere, so
please limit the targets that you want taken during this challenge
to latitudes North of approximately 40 degrees South.
- Have a well thought out hypothesis for selecting this target location.
images can be taken at any given time, and the camera is restricted by
its orbital path and the time of year. In addition, HiRISE is one of
several instruments on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that also
need to collect data and are allocated part of the data downlink volume.
captions and analysis reports will form the basis for a weekly captioned
student image release on the HiRISE image release website http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu. Even
if your target is not selected this round, keep checking the website!
You’ll also be able to see what
other school groups have suggested and help in the analysis of those
sites! We want all participating classes to analyze their favorite returned
HiRISE image, whether or not they actually suggested it, and submit a
report on their analysis.
See the calendar below for
planning purposes. Prepare for the Challenge with some background
references to learn about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Martian
terrain options. Grade-specific
Teacher's Guides and Student Activity Books, tutorials, and other helpful
information are available in .pdf format from the HiRISE
Learning and Activity Center. To browse the released HiRISE
images and for additional information about HiRISE, visit the main
HiRISE website at: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu.
Calendar of Events
|This Challenge is available
as an archive for classroom use.
Please note: After you have registered for the HiRISE Image Targeting
Challenge you will be receive an email giving you information on
how to access to the active website by registering
to HiWeb. HiWeb is the place where you will view images and submit
is HiRISE's interactive image suggestion facility and is the same
tool that HiRISE team members use to submit, view and browse all
HiRISE image suggestions.
||Begin preparation, understanding:
To help you get started, we've created a page
to step you through the process. It links to a point-by-point tutorial on the use of
HiWeb. Only Registered Participants have access to the HiWeb (Grade-specific Teacher
Guides and Activity Books are available online in .pdf format.)
- What the Mars HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment)
- How is High Resolution photography going to affect what we
are able to see?
- What makes one site better than another in determining where
water/life may have existed in the past?
- Begin to form your
opinion of where you would like to look.
- Explore the Clickworkers to learn to recognize geologic features
images and help build image feature databases for the
See also links to other online resources for
- Meet the team.
- Learn how to
become a pilot tester of HiWeb
- Learn how to use "
to explore options and present your preference.
Gulick and Dr. Alexandra Davatzes answered your questions about
the process of finding and submitting your target for imaging by
The you can
read the archive to find the answers to your question
and any others handled during this hour long chat.
First Cycle Deadline:
When you have formed
an hypothesis and are ready to request and support your selection
of that site, enter your information at the HiWeb site. Information
about how to access HiWeb will be given to registered participants
Second Cycle Deadline: N/A
As images are available,
they will be open to all registered participants
only via a special password protected website similar to those of
past HiRISE challenges. http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/HiRISE/quest/
||Images will be acquired and posted
Submit your analysis
report and caption. Form in MS