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Here's Looking At You, Kid, MGS Sees Mars Odyssey and Mars Express
lyford
post May 19 2005, 07:39 PM
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Sweet!

http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/2005/05/19/index.html



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"Zis is not nuts, zis is super-nuts!" Mathematician Richard Courant on viewing an Orion test
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Bob Shaw
post May 19 2005, 09:18 PM
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I wonder whether MGS could image the derelicts orbiting Mars - even as streaks - despite their rather uncertain positions? Apart from the mere interest value in finding Mariner 9, say, it'd also sort out the issue of whether or not one of the MER vehicles saw either a defunct spacecraft or a meteor in the sky last year (I forget which one of the Rovers it was, but have a feeling it was Opportunity). It'd be nice to (1) find the old birds (2) backtrack their orbits (3) rule them in (or out) and get a final answer...


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garybeau
post May 22 2005, 01:04 AM
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QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 19 2005, 04:18 PM)
I wonder whether MGS could image the derelicts orbiting Mars - even as streaks - despite their rather uncertain positions?  Apart from the mere interest value in finding Mariner 9, say, it'd also sort out the issue of whether or not one of the MER vehicles saw either a defunct spacecraft or a meteor in the sky last year (I forget which one of the Rovers it was, but have a feeling it was Opportunity). It'd be nice to (1) find the old birds (2) backtrack their orbits (3) rule them in (or out) and get a final answer...
*


I think the odds of MGS imaging one of the derelict spacecraft would be pretty remote at best. Not knowing the orbital elements of the spacecraft it would be like finding a needle in the haystack. I think the best chance would be to use the camera on one of the rovers pointed up at the sky in the plane of the last known orbit and keep taking a sequence of images until you catch a streak on a couple of sequential images. If you could repeat this on a couple of evenings / mornings you may have enough information to locate it with MGS. I have taken video of passing satellites here on earth just for the fun of it, and even knowing exactly what time they were going to rise, exactly in what part of the sky they will be and using a wide angle camera, it was still a tough catch.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y207/garybeau/iss4.gif

This is a highly compressed and shortened version of the ISS going by. Can you imagine trying to locate this from a moving target with a narrow angle camera?
I think for MGS to catch an image of Mars Express is a pretty remarkable feat.

Gary
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Bob Shaw
post May 22 2005, 11:17 AM
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It certainly wouldn't be *easy*, but the MGS guys have already done such surprising stuff with their almost vintage spacecraft that I'd be unwilling to call anything 'too difficult' where they're involved!

Detection of old orbiters from the ground would be aided by one or two Martian environmental advantages - no clouds (generally) and lovely dark skies (the nearest streetlights never get much closer than about 30 million miles!).

I too have attempted to capture satellites from the ground - the latest was the ISS cruising past Jupiter on 9 May. Sadly, I was caught by surprise and my camera tripod still had a little wobble, so it's not the best of photos.
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garybeau
post May 22 2005, 04:13 PM
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Here's a bit of info on the difficulty MGS had in imaging the other orbiting spacecraft.

"All three spacecraft are moving at almost 7,000 miles per hour, and at 62 miles distance the field-of-view of the Mars Orbiter Camera is only 830 yards across. If timing had been off by only a few seconds, the images would have been blank. "

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2005-080

It's an awful big sky out there when you are peering through a "soda straw".
Does MGS carry a wide-angle camera as well?

I was surprised to hear that the Viking and Mariner orbiters may still be in orbit. They must have been in fairly low orbits for imaging?
I guess the fact that Mars has a thinner atmosphere and is a little further away from the influences of the Sun's solar wind, they don't degrade from their orbits as quickly as they do hear on earth. Not having a strong magnetic field to funnel the charged particles toward the planet may be a factor also.
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Posts in this topic
- lyford   Here's Looking At You, Kid   May 19 2005, 07:39 PM
- - djellison   And to think - I'm giving a talk that includes...   May 19 2005, 07:41 PM
- - um3k   That's awesome!   May 19 2005, 08:43 PM
- - Bob Shaw   I wonder whether MGS could image the derelicts orb...   May 19 2005, 09:18 PM
|- - jamescanvin   Wow I never thorght I'd see anything like t...   May 20 2005, 03:13 AM
|- - garybeau   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 19 2005, 04:18 PM)I won...   May 22 2005, 01:04 AM
|- - Bob Shaw   It certainly wouldn't be *easy*, but the MGS g...   May 22 2005, 11:17 AM
|- - garybeau   Here's a bit of info on the difficulty MGS had...   May 22 2005, 04:13 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   The way that planetary atmospheres behave can be c...   May 22 2005, 07:45 PM
|- - garybeau   Thanks for all the info, I guess with a 140 deg. F...   May 22 2005, 10:31 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   As MGS nears the end of it's lifetime there ap...   May 23 2005, 10:38 AM
- - paxdan   stunning. they imaged mars express too   May 20 2005, 11:50 AM
|- - Bob Shaw   Of course, the *first* spacecraft to image another...   May 20 2005, 10:41 PM
|- - akuo   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 20 2005, 10:41 PM)Of co...   May 20 2005, 10:56 PM
||- - Bob Shaw   Nope - Beagle 2 was certainly in orbit of Mars...   May 20 2005, 11:05 PM
||- - djellison   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 20 2005, 11:05 PM)Nope ...   May 20 2005, 11:18 PM
||- - Bob Shaw   Doug: I thought Mars Express was in an initial or...   May 20 2005, 11:36 PM
|- - ElkGroveDan   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 20 2005, 10:41 PM)Of co...   May 20 2005, 10:59 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   No, you're still in orbit, it's just that ...   May 20 2005, 11:03 PM
- - akuo   Come to think of this, the Viking craft did enter ...   May 20 2005, 11:27 PM
- - djellison   Viking 1 & 2, and Russias Mars 2, 3 and 5 all ...   May 20 2005, 11:30 PM
- - djellison   QUOTE 19th Dec:08:31 GMT:Eject command sent to Mar...   May 21 2005, 12:11 AM
|- - Bob Shaw   Doug (et al): I was wrong about Mars Express ente...   May 21 2005, 01:15 PM
- - edstrick   The 1971 Soviet Mars missions included a cosmos ...   May 21 2005, 02:52 AM
|- - tedstryk   The Soviet Mars orbiters released their landers be...   May 21 2005, 03:43 AM
- - edstrick   The Soviet planetary series consisted of poorly do...   May 21 2005, 07:52 AM
- - Analyst   MGS has wide angle cameras as well. One medium (or...   May 22 2005, 05:19 PM
- - djellison   There are two WA cams on MOC - but they're alm...   May 22 2005, 05:43 PM
- - Analyst   I always thought the two cameras are different, be...   May 22 2005, 06:57 PM
- - djellison   Much-info... http://www.msss.com/mars/observer/ca...   May 22 2005, 07:44 PM
- - ilbasso   The other difficulty is getting the viewing geomet...   May 23 2005, 10:37 AM
- - djellison   Not to mention it's also quite usefull practic...   May 23 2005, 11:29 AM
- - garybeau   I did manage to find a couple of tidbits about the...   May 24 2005, 10:16 PM
- - ElkGroveDan   QUOTE (garybeau @ May 24 2005, 10:16 PM)I did...   May 25 2005, 03:20 AM


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