(Roughly) Daily

“The earth is what we all have in common”*…

Explore a catalog of NASA images and animations of our home planet: “Visible Earth,” from @NASAEarth.

* Wendell Berry


As we peruse our planet, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 that NASA turned on planetary science mode on the Mariner IV spacecraft (which had been launched on November 28, 1964 from Cape Canaveral) as it flew by Mars. Over the next two days, Mariner IV captured the first “close up” pictures (21 in all) of the planets surface. The images taken during the flyby were stored in the on-board tape recorder; each individual photograph took approximately six hours to be transmitted back to Earth.

While waiting for the image data to be computer processed, the team used a pastel set from an art supply store to hand-color (paint-by-numbers style) a numerical printout of the raw pixels. The resulting image provided early verification that the camera was functioning. The hand drawn image compared favorably with the processed image when it became available.

The first digital image from Mars, hand-colored (source)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 14, 2023 at 1:00 am

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