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MSL - Astronomical Observations, Phobos/Deimos, planetary/celestial observations and more
fredk
post Sep 26 2013, 03:54 PM
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The shape of the moon also affects solar transit planning. But in that case, you can shoot video to improve the odds of catching the contacts, of course. Still, with a long enough exposure, a nighttime occultation should be catchable even with shape uncertainties. Getting the overall timing right sounds harder, as Deimos says. And getting useful S/N.

It's a notable coincidence of geometry that it looks like we can get occultations of Aldebaran from MSL - we also get transits of Aldebaran on Earth. Our Moon orbits fairly close to the ecliptic, while Phobos orbits close to Mars' equator, so the two planes must intersect somewhere near Aldebaran (but perspective effects are also much more important for Phobos than our Moon).

Edit: after tolis's reply I think I see what Doug meant. But we do have the possibility of seeing a ghostly Phobos in Mars's shadow, as we've seen recently. That should help break the ambiguity.
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CosmicRocker
post Sep 27 2013, 06:06 AM
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MOD NOTE: Quote including animation of Phobos entering Mars' shadow removed per rule 3.5. Urge all to review rules again and the recent post concerning Forum etiquette; there is a practical rationale for this.

All that said, could not agree more with your sentiments, CR. smile.gif



I am 63 years old, and that is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Thank you for posting that incredible animation. smile.gif

The cameras on this machine are unbelievable.


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Explorer1
post Sep 27 2013, 07:01 AM
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Indeed. I don't see how Siding Spring could get by next year...
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tolis
post Sep 27 2013, 10:45 AM
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Further on the subject of which bright stars are "occultable" by Phobos/Deimos, assuming that
Mars' rotation pole points somewhere near Deneb (alpha Cygni) and such stars would therefore
need to be ~90 deg away, Fomalhaut (alpha Piscis Austrini, V=1.16) looks like a possibility also.

edit: ..and I agree that C/2013 A1 is going to be a-mazing!
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Gerald
post Dec 8 2013, 02:26 AM
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Cleaned versions of the Sol 474 long-exposure Phobos/Deimos ML/MR images:

There are also short exposure versions (raw ML, raw MR).
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James Sorenson
post Feb 2 2014, 09:57 AM
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Only thumbnails are down as of writing this post. But here is the thumb stitch of the Earth Mosaic and some starry night shots.



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mcaplinger
post Feb 4 2014, 10:46 PM
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Is this the first Earth image?
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/ms...0000E1_DXXX.jpg


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fredk
post Feb 4 2014, 10:54 PM
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My guess as to Earth's location on the sol 529 mastcam:
Attached Image

(This is based on comparison with another MR frame and noting which bright spots are present in both, and hence are not in the sky. Also, the arrowed spot is the most point-spread-functiony of the few spots not on both frames. Plus the field is correct according to James, ie azimuth should be around 293 or 294 degrees.)
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elakdawalla
post Feb 4 2014, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE (mcaplinger @ Feb 4 2014, 02:46 PM) *

That one is cool once I'm told what it is, but I'm waiting with bated breath for the full-res MLs that include the twilit horizon...


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paraisosdelsiste...
post Feb 5 2014, 10:32 AM
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Just arrived... :_)

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paraisosdelsiste...
post Feb 5 2014, 10:46 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to remove the noise sad.gif

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Gerald
post Feb 5 2014, 12:08 PM
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A Sol 529 Mastcam Right image pair, cleaned and enhanced:
Attached Image
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Ant103
post Feb 5 2014, 12:10 PM
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Finally we get the twilight images smile.gif Very good work para' smile.gif

Here is my take. A lot of work, like removing the noise, removing the dark spots, blur to remove some of the jpeg artifacts. And the result is pretty good. The essential here is that we are seeing the Earth in the martian twilight !!



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James Sorenson
post Feb 5 2014, 12:19 PM
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Very Nice guys smile.gif
My version.


EDIT: Here is the M100 Zoomed up view on our Planet. smile.gif
Have merged both frames together.
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fredk
post Feb 5 2014, 03:47 PM
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Great views guys!

I hope you folks in the eastern hemisphere were looking up and smiling at 22:21 UT January 31st! Here are all three frames using frame subtraction to remove the noise - the evening star sets:
Attached Image

(Sped up by a factor of 8 or 9 from real-time.)
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