At the beginning of the month, Michael presented a poster at the Division of Planetary Sciences Conference in National Harbor Maryland. He digitally archived his poster so that we can share it with all of you. As you can see we’re nearly finished with the pipeline that combines the multiple individual volunteer markings to identify fans and blotches. You can find the high resolution version of the poster here.
Thanks to Talk moderator Andy (wassock), we have a handy map that overlays previous plots I’ve made of the locations of the HiRISE images being focused on by Planet Four and the CTX images that are being searched on Planet Four: Terrains. He’s also marked some of the target of interest areas like Ithaca, Inca City, Manhattan, and Giza that we’ve been trying to focus on over the past two years on Planet Four.
Andy overlays the plot on top of the geologic map of the Martian South Pole produced by the United States Geological Survey that’s been discussed on Planet Four: Terrains Talk. You can find more details about it here.
You might have seen an image like the one above while classifying on Planet Four: Terrains. It reminds me of Jackson Pollock’s painting style. Those dark lines crisscrossing the image are actually dust devil tracks. Dust devils are mini-tornadoes on the surface of Mars, kicking up and clearing dust in their paths. Dust devils exist in the plains and deserts on Earth. The Martian equivalent can be considerably bigger than those found on Earth. Their tracks can be seen from orbit in images from CTX and other cameras.
Here’s what dust devils look like from orbit. This image was captured by the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Dust devils have been caught in the act on the ground in the mid-latitudes by several robotic rovers and landers including the Mars Exploration Rovers (Opportunity and Spirit). Actually Spirit and Opportunity have had dust devils pass over them, cleaning their solar panels. Below was a series of dust devils passing through nearby the Spirit rover in Gusev crater.
You might be wondering why we don’t ask you to mark these in the main Planet Four: Terrains interface. The reason is because they’re so ubiquitous that a full map of their locations isn’t needed, but if you’re interested you can identify images like this on Talk using the #dustdeviltracks hashtag.
Thanks to volunteer o0ohando0o for spotting this image and posting about it on Planet Four: Terrains Talk. You can find more examples of dust devil tracks as well as other things you might encounter in the Planet Four: Terrains images in our Site Guide.
Greeting from somewhere over the Pacific ocean. I’m on a plane headed for the National Harbor, Maryland for the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting. This is one of the largest yearly gathering of planetary scientists in the world with people presenting work on a wide variety of topics including the Jovian satellites, comets, Mars, exoplanets, and Kuiper belt objects.
The entire core Planet Four science team will be attending the meeting this year, and Michael will presenting a poster on Planet Four and some new preliminary results. As the team is scattered in a few different places, this is the first time that we all will be in the same room together. We’ve mostly been working together remotely thanks to Skype, email, twitter, and telecons, with a few individual visits interspersed over the past few years.
DPS will be an intense week of talks, posters, cool new science results, catching up with collaborators, and saying hello to old friends. I’m looking forward to it and to the Planet Four team dinner we have scheduled later in the week to to plan the coming months of data reduction and most importantly to sit down to all work on the final tasks for the first paper.
You can follow along with all the latest news and happenings from DPS attendees tweeting with the hasthag #DPS15