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Beautiful, watercolour-like composite image of Mars' North Pole
newton64
post Jun 4 2013, 08:56 PM
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Hi all,

Phil Plait's got a new article up on Slate with a gorgeous composite image of the martian North Pole, courtesy Mars Express.

After sharing it around, I got into a conversation with a friend who posited that the "watercolour" look of the image came from averaging so many overlapping frames, thus removing a lot of high-frequency noise. My own intuitive answer was that we're actually seeing the difference between the dusty and uneven martian ground, and the wind-polished ice above it. I figured I knew of some folks who might have more to say on the subject...

Thoughts? Counter-arguments? Either way, it's just one amazing image.
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ngunn
post Jun 4 2013, 10:13 PM
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Hello and welcome. As a member who also does some watercolour painting I thought I should respond. It is a great composite image, no doubt about that, but I don't see why it would be described as watercolour-like. Maybe your friend has some particular artist's work in mind that I'm not familiar with. It just looks photographic to me, with all the limitations and advantages that entails.
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newton64
post Jun 4 2013, 10:42 PM
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Ah, you're probably right -- something along the lines of "like an abstract painting" would have been closer to what I had in mind. Whichever way you slice it, though, it's still some pretty stunning terrain.

Thanks for the welcome smile.gif
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