Imaging Mars for Naperville Astronomical Association
Star Map: Mars at 2:23am CST 11/06/2007
Tomorrow night (Tuesday Nov. 6) I'll be giving a presentation to the Naperville Astronomical Association. Titled Imaging Mars, the lecture will focus on the processing of raw PDS (Planetary Data System) IMG files in order to create attractive pictures of Mars. For the most part I'll be using images from the Viking orbiters and Mars Global Surveyor. The work flow for transforming these IMG raw data files into finished images is rather straight forward. Things are a little trickier with the Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Odyssey images. As this is an introductory level presentation, I strive to keep it simple.
This is actually a good time to be talking about Mars as an opposition of Mars is fast approaching. On December 18, Mars will make it's closest approach to Earth this opposition. At that time, Mars will appear 15.9″ arcseconds in diameter as seen from Earth. Not nearly as good as the opposition of 2003 when its diameter was 25.1″ arcseconds but the best we'll be treated to until 2016. Thus this is an excellent opportunity to check out your local observatory or astronomy club for the opportunity to get a good look at the red planet.
As to my presentation: the Naperville Astronomical Association meeting begins at 7:00pm and is held in downstairs rooms A-B-C of the Naperville Municipal Center at Aurora Ave. and Eagle St. in downtown Naperville IL.
Ad Astra, Jim