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OT: The most bizarre landscape I have seen

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  • OT: The most bizarre landscape I have seen

    Seen in a photo, anyway. This is a small area on Mars not related to the current Rover mission. When I saw this image I had to model it to try to make some sense of it. The area is about 1.5 square kilometres in size meaning that if a person were in the picture you could see them. The entire scene is beyond fantastic. It is apparently a result of a wide variety of minerals that were dissolved in water and deposited where they dried to create this weird Mars-scape. They have also discovered that there is still liquid water on Mars and on a hot summer day it sometimes seeps out of faults in some crater walls. The ground temperature in some areas can actually reach up to 80f sometimes.

    This is the satellite image looking straight down. The HiRise camera has very high resolution of about 16 inches so it can pick up a lot of detail. This reminds me of the fractals I was playing with recently.



    This is the model made in SketchUp. I wish I had the ability to download the really accurate terrain models but the files range from 300MB to a gigabyte or so. Even so, the shape of the landscape is just as strange as the appearance. It was very difficult to get the image correctly aligned with the model. Nothing is familiar. The small ridges are little sand dunes maybe 20 feet tall.



    The low gravity allows sand to form tall sharp edged shapes that are impossible on Earth.
    Last edited by Evan; 09-26-2012, 05:22 AM.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    Alien landscape is alien.
    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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    • #3
      Intriguing. Looks almost like one of your fractal images.
      Gary


      Appearance is Everything...

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      • #4
        reminds me of fractured flint!
        mark

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        • #5
          Probably just piles of gold, diamond, and other useless rocks.
          Andy

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          • #6
            Those golden spots are enormous chunks of GOLD!!!! Actually,they could be!!

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            • #7
              Or they could just be sulphur. Mars had a very busy volcanic period that lasted a billion years. I sure would like taking a trip to Mars just to look around. The tallest volcano in our solar system is on Mars. It is named Olympus Mons and is about 14 miles tall thanks to 1/3 gravity.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                Sort of reminds me of one of the big hot springs in Yellowstone...

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                • #9
                  Where did you get the elevation data for the model?
                  Davis

                  "Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself"

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                  • #10
                    I convert the colour shaded relief image back to a grey height map by splitting out the hue map. As long as the colour map is correctly arranged it works fine. The colour map used by NASA is ok up to a certain relative altitude and then they go to "illegal" colours that don't convert correctly. In this case the problem was that the entire area was much larger with much larger altitude differences. That reduced the contrast greatly on this area which makes it very difficult to pull out the differences accurately. It is fairly close but not entirely correct.

                    I downloaded the entire 350 meg DTM file last night and will have a look to see if I can improve the height map quality.

                    The colour DTM looks like this with the area in question highlighted:

                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      Reminds me of the ceiling of a sub-glacial ice cave.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evan View Post
                        The entire scene is beyond fantastic.
                        It is indeed. It bears some resemblance to tafoni http://www.tafoni.com/Welcome.html, a rock-weathering pattern observable on Earth. But it is beyond that too.

                        You have discovered this. There is no other way to put it!
                        Allan Ostling

                        Phoenix, Arizona

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                        • #13
                          I didn't discover it Allan. NASA is well aware of this formation which is why there is a satellite image of it. They have also created the digital terrain model from a stereo pair to they consider it important. I recently found out that making a single DTM from a stereo pair requires approximate one full week of graphics analyst time. That explains why they make so few.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            Looks like a close up view of a Campo del Cielo meteorite.

                            What would be another way of saying/explaining to someone ... the color map used by NASA uses "illegal" colors?

                            http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/QColor.html

                            -SD:
                            Last edited by Smokedaddy; 09-27-2012, 12:08 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Evan View Post
                              I didn't discover it Allan. NASA is well aware of this formation which is why there is a satellite image of it.
                              Your model is the first I've seen, and it is stunningly rendered. You imply that you have not exaggerated the height relative to the lateral dimensions. With the low Martian gravity the angle of repose is so much greater, it really is like nothing seen before.
                              Allan Ostling

                              Phoenix, Arizona

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