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 Banner that includes NASA Quest and the HiRISE instruments over a Martian landscape

Welcome to the Webcast for the HiRISE Challenge
March 21, 2007

>> Ever since illustrations of canals on Mars people have been interested if water on Mars and possibly there are little green Martians.The first spacecraft got to Mars in the early 1970s, we found that there was not liquid water and no little green Martians.
What we saw instead was that there are enormous channel systems and river valley systems and canyons and volcanoes but they were all dry.
So we found there was no liquid water on the surface but we found there was evidence that liquid water once flowed on the surface, maybe several times in its history.
So right now we are in an exciting period of Mars studies.
We have three spacecraft sirk -- circling Mars and rovers on the planet.
They're all sending back information that says there was liquid water on Mars, at least several times in its history.
Now with the Hi-RISE camera, the most powerful camera that's on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that arrived there a year ago you have a chance to select an area on Mars to target for the Hi-RISE camera to image.
I'll turn it over to my colleague to start the presentation.
>> Let's start with the first slide here.
So today we are going to talk to you a little bit about how to get prepared to target some of these images and then analyze some of these images.
First what we're going to do is talk to you briefly about the motivation to study Mars.
Then we're going to meet the Hi-RISE team, learn a little bit about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Hi-RISE camera and look at some of images from this mission and tell you how to become prepared to suggest images and how to use HiWeb to make your target suggestions and answer some of your questions from the chatroom.
I just want to make a note to be sure to put in your questions in the chatroom as soon as possible because there is a delay.
Try to get it in as soon as you can.
So here is an image of Mars.
This is actually a top owe graphic map.
>> The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter you can see a couple pictures of it.
It's called RMO for short and on the left side is an artist's drawing of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with its large solar panel and you can see a light streaming down from a cylinder in the center and it's the Hi-RISE camera.
Only one of the instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
There are other cameras on board and radar instruments and a variety of other tools that will tell us more about Mars.
On a right you can see the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as it is being loaded up and getting ready for launch.
This tells you just a little bit about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
It was launched in August of 2005.
Then it was sent on its way to Mars.
It entered orbit in just about a year ago in March of 2006.
Then it started to do these gentle dips into the atmosphere to try to slow it down.
That's a process called aerobreaking.
That continued until September of last year and we started actually getting data in November of last year so only a few months ago.
So we've just started getting some of these really great images of Mars that are the highest resolution we've ever seen before.
So the Hi-RISE camera, there is a picture up at the top.
Basically what the camera is, is a lot of little digital cameras attached to a very powerful microscope.
So you can see this telescope up at the top.
That's what it looks like from the outside.
It's quite large.
About 70 centimeters in diameter -- is that right?
And at the lower part you can see all of the individual CCDs and these are basically like little digital cameras except there are a lot of them.
There are ten digital camera CCDs which stretch across the width of it.
In the center there are a couple of extra bands which give us color in the center strip of each image.
So there are also near infrared, red and blue green CCDs in the center part of each image.
The whole image will be black and white but the center 20% will be in color.
And this is really exciting, too, because it gives us some of the first color images of Mars.
So in order for you guys to get started in learning how to use Hi-RISE and how to use this data and how to analyze it and make your target suggestions you should first go to the main Hi-RISE website.
It's -- there are links to this from your -- from the quest webpage.
On this page what you want to do is look at the center box on the webpage at the top and there are a variety of links from there.
There is an image viewer which will show you a little bit of how to use.
There is a Hi-RISE blog which gives you some of the insider information about what the team is working on, what is really exciting and interesting and new.
And a little bit about some of the operations, the behind the scenes look.
There is also a link to games and activities that you can do.
There are some interactive games, cross word puzzles and stuff like that.
Also some activity books to help you get acquainted with both Mars and the camera itself.
And clickworkers which we'll tell you a little bit about in a moment.
So some of your first steps we'll learn about -- to learn about Hi-RISE in Mars is to go to the learning and activity center.
Here is a screen shot showing that webpage and what we've got on there are some information sheets that can just give you a little bit of basic information about Hi-RISE.
There are also, as I mentioned, games and puzzles and activity books and also some information about all of the different science themes and all the different science projects that people are interested in working on.
And then the other thing you'll want to make sure you do before you make some target suggestions is go to the clickworkers website.
This is really an exciting website because it's helpful both to the scientists and as an educational tool.
What clickworkers does, you can go to this page and it will pull up images of some of the early Hi-RISE images and what you'll want to do is as you can see on the left side, there are different buttons which say boulders, craters, wind streaks, dunes, pattern terrain and what you'll want to do is actually click those buttons and it will show you some examples of what pattern terrain on Mars might look like.
Then you can classify the image.
What this is going to do is go into a very large database so that when someone is interested in finding all of the Hi-RISE images that contain pattern ground all they have to do is go to this database and find all the places that have been classified by clickworkers.
This is going to be a hugely important tool for the scientists to use.
But on the other hand it is also going to be helpful to you because it will help you get acquainted with looking at images on Mars and kind of get a feel of what it -- what these images might look like and what some of the features on Mars specifically might look like.
So now I'm going to turn this over to my colleague and she will show you a little bit about some of the Hi-RISE images and how to look at those.
>> Thank you.
The first thing you might want to do is go to our website and look at our Hi-RISE image viewer which is the top link in the center focus box.
I will just move right to it so that you can take a look at it.
If you look at it, once you click on it you'll see a map of Mars in black and white and see all these colored squares.
Now, the colors on the squares tell you how recently this image was acquired.
And the red squares are the ones that were taken -- that were acquired within the last two weeks or at least released within the last two weeks.
If you want to see the new images go to all the red squares.
If you scroll over the boxes, all the different colored boxes what you'll see are the image names as well as a description of what is in that image.
You can click on it from there or you can just zoom in anywhere on the map image to bring up that area in higher detail.
The other thing you can do is go down to the lower bottom area and you can select any image that you want simply by clicking on its file name and image.
>> These are gullies and large valley systems and networks of dry river valleys called valley networks and large, enormous flood channels, crater lakes and shore lines.
Probably the only feature that you'll be able to image in its entirety in the Hi-RISE image because it's so zoomed in.
It's a big close-up, are the gullies.
If you see on the background image are some examples of gullies.
You can usually see the gullies from the source to the ends of the gullies.
You'll be able to take a small portion of it.
So what are some water -- examples of water-related features?
We know from a previous camera called the Mars orbiter camera that there are gullies in many of the craters we see on Mars.
The gullies are characterized by three main features.
One is -- oops, one is that they start -- they source in an all cove and their middle reaches form a channel that cuts down into the surface and the bottom parts of a gully is a debris apron.
That's the part where the water flowed down and basically deposited or dumped the sediment that had eroded from the hillside.
Those are diagnostic features of a gully.
We can see many gullies on Mars.
So this is a close-up of one of those debris fans that have channels on them and this is a small portion of a Hi-RISE image.
You might want to image one of the debris sands that are at the end of the gullies to see the finer details.
Another thing you might want to do is to reimage a site.
These two images that you see are taken from the previous camera, the Mars orbiter camera that was on board the Mars Global Surveyor.
What they did is saw gullies on this crater but what they also saw was -- they saw chains.
They imaged the gully system on the left in December of 2001 and reimageed it in 2005 and what they saw was a bright deposit in the middle and lower reaches of this gully system.
That indicated -- that showed that water flowed in this gully system within the last few years.
Since the 2005 image was taken.
So that tells scientists that some of these gullies are active today.
So one thing you might do is to reimage this site or other gully sites that have bright deposits and see if they have changed.
What we did for Hi-RISE is we did that very thing.
We reimageed those bright gully deposits in the mock images and saw that, yeah, these are the -- they are bright deposits and they do show that they were deposited by water.
So one thing to do is, this was imaged out of a southern winter.
We reimaged them in southern summer to see if the deposits change.
Did they grow?
Are there more or less?
What happened?
Are they being covered over by dust?
What's happening to them?
And again, this is another gully system that was imaged coming out of the southern winter.
What you see is on the left is a color portion of the Hi-RISE image.
What you see is frost.
There is definitely frost in these gullies with dark areas.
If you look on the right you see the area in black and white so you don't notice the frost in the black and white.
But I bet you might see changes if you were to reimage this area again or any of the gullies in the southern mid-latitudes that had frost and you'll see differences and see if they look different.
They might.
It's certainly something that we as a team are interested in looking at.
You might be interested in imaging some particular area, too.
Another feature of interest is looking at the valley systems.
On the left is an image.
This is a fairly large valley system.
There is a box on the left that shows you where the Hi-RISE.
Show you where we took a Hi-RISE image of it so you can see we can't image the whole valley system.
We can only image a small portion.
What we did is imaged the fingertip tributaries.
The places where the water came off the slope and started to erode into the surface forming dry river tributaries so the image on the right is the Hi-RISE image and you can see what it looks like in detail.
One thing you might do is to take a valley system and image some interesting part of it.
Another thing that occurs on Mars especially with the valley systems and the gullies is some of the gullies or some of the valley systems might have ended in a lake such as a crater lake you see on the left.
And I've circled in red what we think is a delta.
A delta is very much like a debris fan that I showed you except that the river deposited the sediment in water.
So what happens when it does that is it forms a fan-shaped feature with a steep slope.
So right where the waterline comes up the river just dumps sediment so you get the very steep slope unlike a debris fan which has more of a more gentle slope.
So when you -- on the right is a portion of the Hi-RISE image.
What we saw when we imaged this small delta-like feature we think is a delta, we see all these different layers.
Multiple layers and, of course, there is a steep front on it so that tells us that yes, this was likely deposited by water and it tells us more details of what this delta looks like.
So we have deltas on Earth.
On the left is just the Mississippi river delta, all the sediment that flows down the Mississippi gets dumped into the delta, which are the light areas.
You see sediment going into the water.
And it also forms a delta much like we see on Mars.
So what are some other areas of my target?
There are some areas we think might be water-related such as these channel dunes and the crater dunes.
But we're not sure.
The reason why we aren't sure is because we don't see a deposit of sediment at the bottom of them.
We see all coves and it ends with no deposit.
Where did the sediment go if it was water?
There might be other processes involved.
It is nice to take a look at things that we think might be formed by water but we're not sure.
Those are some more interesting areas.
So finally once you've thought about areas that you want to image, then you go to our Hi-RISE and you'll be given later today a username and password to log in and you'll be able to look at Mars using all the available images from the different spacecraft.
Be able to look at them in low resolution and infrared to get an idea of what the surface looks like.
What the surface temperature is and you'll also be able to look at the Hi-RISE images.
So then once you get in you'll need to register and then submit your target.
So now what we'll do is -- I'll demo the image suggestion.
>> I just want to make a note that all these slides that you just saw will be posted on the website so you'll be able to download them and actually see them again in more detail if you still have questions about it.
Also just another reminder, please put your questions in now.
Please put them in early.
>> Okay.
So once you go to our website, what you'll be able to do -- let me back up one second.
You'll be able to go to access the Hi-RISE target suggestion facility.
It's not released to the public yet.
You'll be one of the first members of the public to look at our targeting facility.
Go to team resources and click on it.
And up will pop our image suggestion facility.
What you'll need to do is input a username and password which I'll send you via email later today and you can explore this on your own.
This is what it will look like once you put in the username and password.
What you can do, if you know exact will I where you want to go, put in the latitude and longitude.
If you have no idea where to go you can list features by type such as find different channels or if you heard of some channel and -- or some feature you wanted to go to, you can list that feature either by clicking on this button here and you get a variety of different features to look at.
The way we usually do it.
We click on an interesting area such as here.
This is the large canyon system on Mars.
It would span the width of the United States from New York to Los Angeles so it's a large canyon system but it is interesting, too.
You click on it and what happens is that the image suggestion facility will open up.
And so in order to save time I'll just show you what it would look like.
Let's see.
So here it is right here.
And up will pop a center part of your image.
Actually I think there is one other -- this one other thing.
Is it here?
This is what you'll see.
So here is the canyon system, here are the volcanoes.
What you want to do is move the area of interest to right within the center.
And -- because the next step that you take will center on that image.
Let's see.
You can zoom inasmuch as you want by clicking or you can take this slider and zoom right into where you want to go.
So let's look at maybe this area here and we can -- you can put on latitude, longitude if you want to know what that is or if you've heard of different place names and want to zoom into it, you can do that and see what's where.
So then you launch the image suggestion tool and what will happen, it will download an application to your desktop.
This is what it will look like.
And then it will ask you a question.
Basically this is signed by HiWeb developers and you click trust.
After that what will come up is the image suggestion facility.
So down at the bottom?
Right down here.
All right, and so here is just a zoomed-in version of the place of interest.
You can move around using these arrows if you want to look at some specific feature.
This is part of the canyon system and what you have here is a landslide.
If you want to focus on that area, you want to target something in that or target this little impact crater here, you can.
So the way you do that is you need to log in.
When you log in, if you've already logged in put in your username, password and submit.
If you haven't, you need to register so you need to put in your first name, your last name, your email so we can contact you if needed and then whether you're an educator or student and then fill this in and click submit.
Then you input your own username and password.
After you do that, then you can go back and put in your username and password.
We'll have to do this again because I clicked off on the -- I will log in and show you how you do it now.
I'll log in as myself.
And I click submit.
So when that happens, what you'll get is a little registration panel that will show you, okay, you are now logged in.
Let me put this away.
And you may now click on your suggestions and edit them.
You say okay and now you are presented with the screen where you can suggest something.
These areas are suggestions that have already been made by the team.
There are two things you can do.
You can use an image footprint, which means just target what's in this footprint.
Maybe you want to target the small impact crater here.
So what you would do, you would suggest a target.
Then you would just drag your cursor over this area.
Before that happens, what happens is another panel will pop up and as you draw you can see right here you can move this around to wherever you want it.
And what will happen is that the latitude and longitude, the coordinates will be put in for you.
You don't have to worry about that.
If you don't like the suggestion just click away and get another one.
So here is one right here.
The two that I'll keep on this image -- this impact crater, the two parallel green lines are your color strips so if you want color of a certain areas, you want to move that image footprint where you want the color.
If you want it right in the middle, you just leave it there.
And then you go to your Hi-RISE suggestion form as I mentioned the latitude and longitude is in there.
You don't have to worry about it.
You can put in a little title that lets you know what it is and you can just say small impact crater.
Near the canyon or something.
Something that helps you know what the canyon is called.
And then what you should do is you pick a primary science theme.
That for this challenge is probably going to be fluid.
It means water processes.
You need to check that so that goes to the appropriate team member.
There is a variety of different team members that are prioritizing the suggestions and then what you need to type in is some kind of rationale in order to submit it.
So you can just say I am interested in seeing if there is gullies in the small impact crater.
Or whatever else you are interested in.
And you can just submit it if you want.
Another thing -- another thing you have to do is you have to give a priority.
If you suggest many suggestions or if you just submit one, this is your best one and you want this one to be targeted then you say this is my highest priority target so I'll give it a five.
Then you could submit it but there are other things that you can do if you want.
You don't have to do it.
One thing you can do is just say I want the highest resolution because there is a variety of resolutions that you can target something at.
If you want something really zoomed up, a close-up of some area you'll want to pick the one by one, the .3.
You want the highest resolution.
If you do that you need to put something in say I want to see the gullies.
I want to see if there are gullies.
For example, could be anything that you're interested in.
If you want color, we'll come along and we get them automatically now but before you do that you want to rank it.
If this is your highest, you put it on five.
If you want stereo you say I want stereo for whatever reason.
If you want some compositional data there is an imaging spectrometer.
You can click that and put your justification in.
Then all you do is you can hit submit at this time.
You probably won't likely do this but we also have the opportunity to put in when to image it.
You'll want to have your image suggestions in right away so you won't want to use this probably.
But later on you may want to make some suggestions or you want to image a certain site during different seasons and then you can use this.
But anyhow.
All you need to do is put in your image footprint, put in a small description of what you're interested in, check the processes and say why you're interested in it and you click submit.
And then it goes into the -- our image database and says your suggestion.
There is almost 10,000 suggestions already.
Are entered into the suggestion database.
Thank you for proposing.
Since you put in your email we can let you know or you can check back yourself when that image has been targeted.
There are other tools you can do if you don't know where to target and you want to just take a look at the area in more detail.
You can click on this button that says mock -- these are images from previous missions that the team uses a lot.
I use the mock narrow images a lot.
You can click on any of them in your area of interest and see what it looks like in higher detail.
Let's go to something small.
I'll put it like this and eventually what will happen is you'll be able to see the mock image of the site.
If you like it, you may want to target it.
Some of the images aren't very good.
Let's try one more.
Let's try this.
Now you have an image but it is not that interesting until you scroll down.
This is a little crack in the surface.
These are little collapse features.
So you might want to choose to look at it and say this looks like a really neat area.
I want to target it.
Another thing you can do is look at other images.
These are slightly higher resolution but give nice detail in many cases, you might want to take a look at it.
Does it still look good here?
If it does, then you might want to target it.
Here is one that comes back and here you can see these little collapse features again right here.
It looks great, you see it in more detail.
You say yeah, I want to target right in here.
So that's another approach you can use.
>> When you're on this site you can also select to open some of the images as a webpage or as an image itself.
So if you want to also -- if you want to open one of these images and get some information about it, you can actually open the webpage.
There is a button down here that -- right here that says link to webpage and that will allow you to open up the webpage which will give you information on the image itself.
>> Right.
It will let you know a little more about what that image is -- what's in that image.
Then the other thing you'll be able to do is if you make multiple suggestions you'll be able to list your suggestions and I have my suggestions listed but it will give you a link to your suggestions, which -- these are mine and you can just click on it.
Once you do this click on it to see more information on your suggestion.
And close it and that's pretty much it.
With the image suggestion system.
>> This is Linda Conrad and we'll start getting some questions from the Q and A source.
In the meantime I'll let the control room bring back up our hosts here so that we can see them instead of the computer screen.
And I do have quite a few questions.
About ten questions here.
A couple high school wants to know how many students are involved in this program?
Part of that I can answer.
At last glance we were over 600 but I'm suspecting that the question has more to do with how much of a chance do we have for our picture or our image to be taken if there are thousands of people already asking for selection?
>> Okay.
That's a very good question.
We will be down in Tucson next month to target some of these images.
We won't be able to get every image so we'll only be able to get the images that there is an opportunity to target.
That might only be four or six images but what we want you to get out of this challenge is to be able to return some images that all of you will look at.
Whatever images get returned you have your choice of which image to analyze.
Then we would like you to take some time and look at it and see is this what you expected and to write a little report on it.
Then later on we'll have a -- later on the end of may we'll have a webcast to come back and discuss the various images that were target.
You may not get your favorite image right away during this challenge but it will be in the database so it will be targeted at some time.
What's I think really neat is that every week we'll feature at least one student or class image that was suggested on our main website.
So if it was -- it will be like Mr. Peterson's 6th grade class in wherever, it will name the school.
So you'll see that your suggestion will eventually come up and be featured for the week.
I think that's very exciting.
For this challenge we want you to get the experience of actually submitting a target and seeing what comes back.
Sometimes it's different from what you would expect.
Usually it is.
A lot of times the images that come back are very surprising to the team members and we have to figure out what that image is telling us about Mars.
>> You also have to remember that just because your image isn't targeted right away, it still will probably be targeted later.
It doesn't necessarily mean it is not a good target or anything else.
It just means that maybe the orbit isn't right so it's not actually going over that location.
Also because we have to coordinate with a lot of different instruments.
We have to -- sometimes it's hard as to what gets imageed and what doesn't.
We'll try to image as much as possible but might not get imaged right away.
Even if yourself doesn't get imaged for the challenge, keep looking back at the website because we'll have an image suggestion of the week.
It might get imaged months from now because eventually it will get imaged.
>> Thank you.
I think this is fire Drake writer asks how many images would you recommend or should they recommend?
>> Well, I think that's really up to you.
If you want to suggest just one, that's fine.
If you want to suggest several that's fine also.
We probably won't get, you know, you may only get one or you may get none of them back within the time of the challenge but eventually you'll get it back.
I would suggest, you know, suggest that you feel comfortable submitting.
>> If you think something is interesting you should make that target suggestion.
That will be an important thing for us.
This is also a tool for the scientists to find new, exciting places to look at.
If you think it's interesting, you should target it.
>> It will eventually be targeted at some point.
>> Okay.
Another question here.
Will we be able to videoconference with the team when a tremendous educational opportunity presents itself?
>> That is possible.
Like I said we're scheduled to have a final webcast in May which may involve more than just us, other team members and you would be able to communicate with other team members as well as us.
>> I always have to check to see where I am here.
Question from Titusville high school.
Can Hi-RISE say DURACITE using various spectra?
>> Not really.
There is an imaging spectrometer that can see that mineral as well as others.
A lot of times if you suggest -- if you click the chrism button it will likely get compositional information of the surface.
If you suspect there might be a mineral in that area or you want to know what the surface is made of, click on that radio button and they'll take some data, too.
>> Great.
MYRA Freeman.
It's important to photograph ice caps.
Why is this important?
>> Well, ice caps are -- you know, we know that there is liquid water on the ice caps -- not liquid but frozen water and also if we can get more information about the ice caps it might give us more information about the climate history of Mars which is very, very important.
>> The ice caps on Mars are a little different from the ones on Earth and it's important to learn what the similarities are and what the differences are between ours and Mars.
Why there is carbon monoxide and the implications it has for the Martian climate.
>> This question comes from carousel.
The first time we've had them involved with us.
They would like to know how many schools are involved in this project and I don't know if you know more information than I do, but I'm thinking individual-wise.
We have individuals participating, too, because we open it up to a first couple years of college.
Individuals-wise I'd say we have about 15 to 17 people and from a school standpoint probably about 20.
I'm not entirely sure.
>> I think that's -- my numbers were similar.
>> All right.
Let's see what else we have here.
Another good question.
Can we download this lecture later?
Our resolution on our media player is blurred and the window is so small we can't read the information.
That's an excellent question.
We'll have this archived for you within 24 hours of finishing the webcast today.
So yes, the answer to that.
I don't know if you want to add to it.
>> Just check back later and we'll also probably archive it on our learning and activities website which you saw as well.
>> Also a reminder, we went through the HiWeb website.
On the learning and activity center there are also some tutorials which take you step-by-step through using HiWeb.
That will also give you a hand, once you get it open yourself if you run into any problems you can look back at that and that will help you out.
>> Okay.
I have a question here.
Another question.
Where were with microbes found on Mars, the ones that looked like microscopic worms?
>> Yes.
Those were found in a meteorite that fell to Earth and we know are from Mars but we don't exactly know where it is.
We know it's probably from a fairly young impact crater that blew material.
It was large enough to blow material off of the planet of Mars and it went into space and eventually was captured by Earth's orbit and fell to the ground.
We don't know exactly where those blocks came from on Mars.
>> Okay.
Another question from the same person.
That gives me good pause to remind you if you want your questions answered during the webcast we need them now.
There is a slight delay between when you send and when we receive and we don't want you to be disappointed by not getting your question answered online.
How powerful is the lens on the camera?
I think you may have answered this but maybe isolating it here would be good.
>> It's actually very powerful.
You can think of it as a very, very good digital camera or series of digital cameras on the end of a telescope.
The orbiter is circling Mars 118 miles above the surface and it is taking pictures of Mars at about 30 centimeters per pixel.
25 centimeters per pixel.
If you're sitting at your desk we would be able to detect or identify that table, that desk, from orbit.
Anything that is about a yard in width we'd be able to see.
>> For example.
We've been able to see the rovers that are on the surface right now.
We can actually see the rovers and we can also see the debris that's been leftover from previous missions.
>> That's pretty impressive.
We have another question.
Are these -- are there similar images available of Earth so we can compare and contrast the Mars and Earth pictures?
>> That is a really, really good question and we do have some satellite images, but they aren't at the resolution.
They're about a meter per pixel so you can resolve something that's several yards across but we don't have anything down at the centimeter or inch resolution.
Sometimes in aerial photos we'll have very high resolution.
If you look on our website, for example, you'll go to the top navigation bar and you'll see there is an image viewer on that.
Pull that down and you can go and see pictures of the grand canyon at better than Hi-RISE resolution, 11 centimeters per pixel and you can zoom up to the Hi-RISE resolution so you can actually explore it.
It's an infrared image.
Any vegetation like sagebrush is in red.
Anything red that looks like a bush is what it is.
It's really green and natural color.
>> Okay.
We have a question here from Wyoming valley west school district.
The question is, will a special format be required for the final report made by the students and how long a report are you expecting?
>> Well, we don't have a special format but we could put that out later.
What I would say not too long.
Maybe at most maybe three pages.
It is basically capturing what you thought was going to be there and what you see now and some of your thoughts on how it changed or how it was different from what you expected and what you think it might be.
Then we'll discuss that on the last webcast.
>> Okay.
I have a question here.
Another question.
How long do the images take to get from the camera to Earth?
>> It really depends.
It's probably, if you were doing it directly, it probably would take transmissions from Earth to Mars takes on average about 20 minutes.
But it takes a long time to download these images.
These are large images.
It could take quite a while to download it.
Probably in some cases hours to download a single image.
>> It also takes ten times -- after it's been transmitted to Earth, it takes ten times to process it to make it into an image like what we'd see.
There are a number of what are called pipelines which actually stitch all of the -- we talked about how there were lots of individual digital cameras.
Each of those return an image and those are stitched together.
That takes a fair amount of time.
It takes a little bit of time from when it reaches Earth to when it is actually a full image for view as well.
>> Looks like I just have one more question in the queue here.
If you have a question you want us to answer today, get it in.
It is a question that says how detailed do the images have to be?
>> I'm assuming you mean your suggestion.
Basically you can do one of two things.
I didn't show you the other option.
I would suggest you take the image footprint so you put your image footprint right over the area that you're interested in.
If it's larger and you don't care where on the image -- where in that area we image you can choose the POLYGON option.
I generally wouldn't suggest that.
You don't get -- have any control about where in that image an image is taken.
I would strongly suggest that you would use the image footprint option for selecting your site.
And so what you'll get is a fairly large image and it will have color in the center.
So if you want a particular area in your site to be in color, then put those -- put it between those two green parallel bars and you'll get color.
>> Okay.
I do have one more here, yea.
Does cosmic radiation affect the image or the camera?
>> Want to take that one?
>> There are a number of things that can affect it.
That's not so much but atmosphere or the amount of light can affect the image that is taken and so those are the things you'll probably want to be most concerned about.
So, for example.
You are not going to want to make a target suggestion way in the northern part of Mars because it will be pretty dark.
The images aren't going to be very good from there.
So in terms of things that you'll want to think about that might be of a concern that's one.
Also the weather patterns.
There is another instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that is looking at the atmosphere and weather patterns.
We actually use that to help us pick what might be good locations because if it's going to be clouded over that won't be a good place to target.
>> Generally there is dusty areas which you want to try to avoid as well.
For this challenge since we're entering the southern summer and you want to get as much light as possible on your target, I would suggest limiting your area to maybe the southern hemisphere or the lower northern latitudes.
Certainly less than maybe, you know, 30 degrees north and southward because you're going to get more illumination and less of your site in shadow.
>> Okay.
Looks like a question here.
I'm not sure I entirely understand it but--
>> What areas can you take pictures of?
You clarified a little bit but maybe you have more suggestions.
>> Any area within the southern hemisphere or just in the low northerly latitudes.
Mid-latitudes or more southerly in the northern hemisphere.
You can do anything.
You can pick a crater that's of interest.
You can pick part of the canyon.
You can pick part of the channel system.
What I would suggest if you don't know anywhere to pick is just look and browse through the Hi-RISE images that have been taken.
What they'll do there is using the Hi-RISE image viewer you can use at the context and say I see this image was taken in a crater and this is some deposit or this is some gullies and you can zoom and pan around the images and just get a feel for what is there and what we've already taken and maybe -- there might be some area that you might want to reimage because now you're going into a different season.
You might want to see if it changed.
So really, any area is fair game within that region.
Just try to make sure it isn't dusty and what we're trying to have the focus for this challenge is water.
If you can find some evidence for water.
I would try to look at those areas first.
>> Gullies are commonly along crater rims so gullies -- if you're interested in gullies you might want to take a look at a variety of different craters.
That might be of interest to you.
But you might just want to look at a channel margin, for example, to see if you can see evidence of where the water flows, the level of water flowed or something like that or streamline features on the basins and outflow channels.
That might be of interest.
>> I have a little clarification.
I mean where did you take them?
>> We've taken them, the team has taken them all over Mars.
If you look at the Hi-RISE image viewer you'll see that the squares are all over Mars and so we all have different interests.
Some people are interested in volcanoes and lava.
Some people are interested in dunes.
Some people are interested in the polar caps.
A variety of different topics and those are the areas they mostly target but they also target other areas of interest that aren't in their area of expertise, too.
So I would just suggest any area that interests you that has to do with water.
Like I said in the presentation, you could target the debris fans from the gullies.
You can look at the source areas of the outflow channels or the valley networks, or even the gullies to see if we can -- if you can learn anything about where that water is coming from.
Is it coming from a layer in the -- below the surface, a layer in the ground, or is it coming from surface water flow?
And you might want to take a look at a deposit that is formed where a smaller valley flows into a larger valley or flows into a crater to see what that looks like because those are generally deposits that the water has carried down and just dumped it there.
You might want to take a look at those.
The variety of places you can look at.
>> A lot of the places that have been taken already have also been targets that have been chosen specifically because -- a lot of the things that you might be looking at are places where future missions might be going.
So maybe if you find an interesting place, that might become another possible target location for a future visit to Mars.
>> You may be one of the people that do select the landing site for future rovers on Mars.
Who knows?
>> What an exciting thought?
I have a related question here but I think we'll close with it and that is again the question asks, can we find out if our suggestions have already been suggested.
I think we touched on that a little bit.
Maybe you want to address it again and if it was by a NASA scientist, what was their opinion of that image?
>> Well, one thing you can do is look at the -- go to HiWeb, the image suggestion facility and you'll see the footprints of what has already been acquired.
If it's been acquired you can look in the Hi-RISE image viewer I showed you or go directly to your area and see the Hi-RISE images that have been selected.
Again, if you're in the middle of making a suggestion you might want to stay within HiWeb and see what has already been targeted and the way you'll tell is that it's a yellow footprint box that is in that location and you'll know it has been acquired.
>> Again if you push the button to click for webpage, then click the box.
Click the button that says webpage and click the yellow box and that will take you directly to the Hi-RISE webpage and there will be a description below that which tells you what some of the scientists are thinking or interesting about that specific location.
>> That describes what's in the image so you can kind of learn what we have seen and what we think is in that image.
It's a great learning tool.
>> Okay.
I think we're going to sign off now.
If you have any parting remarks and want to just say goodbye until next time.
>> Goodbye.
And thank you.
We're looking forward to seeing your target suggestions.
>> We'll see you again at the end of may.

 FirstGov  NASA

NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: May 2005
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