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Posts Tagged ‘Rover’

NASA Curiosity Rover captures rare photographs of clouds on Mars

12 Aug
Clouds drift across the sky above a Martian horizon in this photograph captured on July 17, 2017 by the Navcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University

Last month, NASA’s Curiosity Rover captured something (appropriately enough) curious in the Martian sky: clouds. Specifically, Curiosity snapped several sequences of “wispy, early-season clouds resembling Earth’s ice-crystal cirrus clouds” that NASA is calling “the most clearly visible so far” since the Rover landed 5 years and 5 days ago.

As NASA explains in a news release:

Researchers used Curiosity’s Navigation Camera (Navcam) to take two sets of eight images of the sky on an early Martian morning last month. For one set, the camera pointed nearly straight up. For the other, it pointed just above the southern horizon. Cloud movement was recorded in both and was made easier to see by image enhancement.

Each sequence of 8 images was enhanced and turned into an animated GIF:

To learn more about these photos and the science behind why there are clouds on Mars, and why they were a lot more common billions of years ago, head over to the NASA news release by clicking here.


All photos courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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NASA ortbiter snaps aerial photo of lonesome Mars Curiosity rover

23 Jun
The bright blue dot at the center of this photo by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is actually NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, going about its lonely mission on the Red Planet. © Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

No human photographer could capture this aerial photograph. That’s because this image is literally out of this world – it was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 5th, and shows the Mars Curiosity Rover as it traverses the red planet, approximately 241,500,000 miles away from where I sit typing this right now.

It’s hard to spot, and you have to look really closely, but there’s a small blue dot in the very middle of the photograph above. This closer crop might help:

There, amid the Martian landscape, you can actually see the Curiosity rover as it trekked along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, on its way to ‘Vera Rubin Ridge.’

The photograph was taken by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which captures a red band, blue -green band, and an infrared band, combining these together to form an RGB image. Because of this, the photograph is not a so-called ‘true color’ image, and the orbiter appears bluer than it actually is.

Oh, and if you’re curious, you can actually see what Curiosity was seeing when this photo was captured. The rover was using its Mast Camera to shoot these photographs of the Martian landscape while its picture was taken.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Explore Mars with 360-degree image shot by NASA Curiosity Rover

11 Jun

Earlier this year, NASA released a 360-degree image from the perspective of the Curiosity Mars Rover. The scene is made up of a combination of multiple exposures taken with the rover’s 2MP ‘Mastcam’ camera, which we wrote about back in 2012.

The resulting image is pretty incredible, and if you have access to a Google Cardboard viewer you can experience it in 3D. So if you’ve got a free few minutes this weekend, why not explore the surface of Mars? 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Stair Rover Goes Where Other Skateboards Can’t

11 Jul

[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Stair Rover Skateboard Design 1

An eight-wheel mechanism allows the unusual Stair-Rover skateboard to descend flights of steps the way conventional skateboards never could. Designed by Po-Chih Lai, the wheel system mounts to a longboard and flexes to follow the contours of stairs and ride up curbs.

Stair Rover Skateboard 3

In addition to the original design, which fits wood boards, Lai offers an upgraded Pro version with a fiberglass deck and black components. The chassis goes to work on rough surfaces like cobblestones or uneven paving to reduce impact and prevent falls.

Stair Rover Skateboard 2

Stair Rover Skateboard 5

“Reach the top of a flight of stairs and simply keep going – let gravity and the patent-pending V-frame design do the rest. The wheels bounce up and down independently and conform to the shape of each step. It’s a balancing act that gives the board its crab-like scuttle and gives you a butter-smooth ride to the bottom.”

Stair Rover Skateboard 4

A new video of the board in action shows it navigating London landmarks like the Royal Albert Hall, Emirates Stadium and the Millennium Bridge. Currently up on Kickstarter, the project is seeking £50,000 in funding to bring the board into production. Backers donating at a certain level are pre-ordering a board before it’s available to the general public.

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[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

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LowePro Rover Pro 35L AW Camera Backpack [Review]

31 Jan

Finally! Finally LowePro is making backpacks that carry cameras, not camera bags that happen to be carried on your back. Not only that, the Rover Pro is a versatile bag when you aren’t carrying your camera with ample room for a long day hike. I have used this bag on a couple of short trips and a 6 mile slog through a wet and tangle arroyo and am here to report and the good and the bad.

Specifications

Capacity:

  • Pro DSLR with attached 24-70mm lens
  • 1 extra lens or flash
  • Tripod or monopod
  • 2 liter hydration reservoir
  • Sleeping pad, small tent, ice axe/trekking poles, and other personal items

Size(Interior):
5.7W X 6.2D X 12.4H in./
14.5 X 15.8 X 31.5 cm

Size(Exterior):
12.6W X 10.6D X 19.7H in./
32 X 27 X 50 cm

Weight:
5.07lbs/2.3kg

Features

The concept of the Rover Pro AW is a backpack first and a camera bag second. This works well for active photographers, but there are some snags.

First, the bag is actually two bags. The first is the main backpack body. It comes complete with full suspension system, water bladder/bottle pocket, tripod straps/sleeve, compression straps, and a couple of pockets in the back and top for odds and ends. It also has two loops for ice axes (yes, I might actually use them as such) or trekking poles.

The rear pocket is perfect sized for a guide book or iPad/tablet and the water bottle/bladder pocket comes with compression straps and a covered outlet to you’re your bladder hose. These days, that is just about required. There are small pockets on the hip belt and they will hold a memory card wallet or smart phone (my iPhone 4 fits with extra room). Although, with a phone in the hip pocket and my hands in my pants pockets, it wasn’t comfortable as the hip-belt pockets got in the way, but only with a phone in them. If you never hike with your hands in your pockets, no worries.

The suspension system is good and I was happy the waist belt reached my hips unlike many packs. I am 6’1” and often need a slightly longer pack so the weight rests on my hips and not my shoulders. This is hard to find in camera bags but the Rover Pro 35L was very comfortable in this sense. Calling it a waist belt would be wrong, I guess, it is more of a proper hip belt as that is where the weight should rest.

Inside the main compartment is a removable camera bag. It is not big, but can hold a full size DSLR with battery grip and long lens. In my case, I was able to hold a Canon 7D, grip and 28-300mm L lens. There is a slot section in the bag for memory, hard drive, flash or what not. The 45L version of this bag comes with another internal bag for a long lens. This internal bag also has elastic pouches on the outside and two zippered pockets on the inside for filters, gels, memory cards, etc… Lastly, it has a top loop and side carry handles as it can be used by itself outside the bag.

Oh, and as this is the AW (All Weather) version, it comes with a rain cover.

In Real Life

One important thing to realize about this bag, is it is not intended to be a fast action bag. It is meant to carry a lot over a long distance comfortably. Truth be told, you might be better served with your regular overnight backpack and put your camera in an insert. What this bag helps with that your overnight pack might not, is access. While it is not intended for quick access to a camera like most camera bags with their integrated organization, it does allow for either top or back panel access. From here, the camera insert bag is removed and away you go.

I would rate the 35L version as a great day trip pack and the 45L as an overnight bag, possibly. Not for winter use, but I can see how a sleeping bag, pad, and small tent can fit in an on this bag (straps on the bottom help with gear haulage). When accessing the camera insert, I often found items would shift and it would take a few extra steps to put the insert back in the main bag after shooting. This make sense and is a fair trade off for not having wasted space as you would with a integrated bag.

I thought the hip belt adjustment was lackluster. I could tighten it easily enough with the extra long pulls (good for those with a larger belly) but loosening the straps was unduly difficult and took two hands to sort of ‘jog’ the strap back. Not a deal breaker, but it can use improvement. It took me a couple of tries to figure out how to adjust the shoulder straps for my height (hint: push against the velcro hard) and I was very happy that it adjusted to my length. The metal stays and semi-rigid frame is of quality design and the ‘trmpoline’ backing did keep the pack away from my back and cool.

The zippers are average, nothing to rave about and they work. The rain cover, oh the rain cover…the rain cover finally DETACHES!! Thank you, LowePro! There is a pocket for it on the bottom of the bag and it doesn’t interfere with the bottom sleeping pad straps, which is nice. A strip of velcro helps keep the cover with the bag if you like, but once wet, the cover can be detached to dry. It also has a couple of compression straps on the top to form fit. Nice touch. I have not long term tested the cover, though.

Conclusion

When I realize how this bag is to be used, to get stuff to the shoot after a long hike over varied terrain, I appreciated it more. The camera bag is not of the quality of the f-stop bags, such as the Satori EXP, but the price is also less. While not set up for quick access, the pack does well to keep gear comfortable on my back over longer distances. The rain cover and tripod straps work well and I like that they didn’t try to make this a computer carrier too. The 35L has a lot of space and the 45L would be even larger.

Adjustable shoulder straps help this bag fit a range of torso sizes and the straps for gear are not excessive just for looks like some bags. What’s more, take the camera bag insert out and the pack functions as a very useful ‘regular’ 35L backpack for an overnight hike. I would recommend this bag for some someone wanting a more comfortable pack, but it also competes with standard, traditional day packs which can fit a right-sized camera insert. It’s not the only bag in this niche, but it does its job very well.

 

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

LowePro Rover Pro 35L AW Camera Backpack [Review]


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The Best Land Rover Defender 90 V8 In The UK Ever, IN ACTION!

23 Dec

Marks extremely capable V8 90 in the rough stuff, just how you like it!
Video Rating: 4 / 5

JONATHAN GAYTAN’S (COUNT THE ALLIGATOR) FIRST MUSIC VIDEO FOR SONG SECOND CHANCES! Directed by: Benjamin Eck We took a D90 to Malibu, borrowed a house from a friend and this is what we came up with. This was a test to stretch our impromptu creativity and challenge ourselves to make a cohesive video with no pre-production or concept.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

 
 

Land Rover Defender 90 Project Part 1

08 Dec

my defender 90, From day one to theday it hit the road! im 18 its my first car it costs me 2k a year to insure it ive spent loads and loads on it! More to come!!

 
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Curiosity Rover takes high-resolution self-portrait on Mars

03 Nov

marsrover.jpeg

While we’re stuck down here on earth, NASA’s Curiosity rover is currently trundling around on the surface of Mars, mapping the terrain and analyzing rocks. This week, Curiosity took time out from its busy schedule to snap an arms-length self-portrait, showing the rover in situ, in Gale Crater – 140 million miles from home. The composite image is made up of 55 high-resolution images, taken using its MAHLI camera, which is mounted on the end of a robotic arm. Click through for more details and a link to the full-resolution image.

News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Curiosity Rover Photos, A Landscape Photographers Perspective

16 Oct

Landscape photographers are often striving to photograph new places, but imagine being the first person to ever photograph an alien environment. Some time ago I wrote about his in relation to the landing on the moon in my blog post Isolation and Discovery. My day dreams of photographing landscapes of distant, if not alien environments, has been revived by the recent stream of images from the Mars Curiosity Rover.  The rover is equipped with 17 cameras so there will be plenty of photos to come over the next year. The main Mast camera (MastCam) has begun snapping a series of lower resolution (by consumer dSLR standards) images that can be stitched together to create larger high resolution images. Neat, but what is really cool is NASA is making all the images from the rover available on their web site in high resolution (see the Curiosity Rover Multimedia page). If you have the inclination you can stitch and process the images yourself. I had a few minutes the other day to do this and here are the results:

Mars Curiosity Rover Pano Color Corrected Comparison (Top RAW from NASA & Botom My Version)

View the large color corrected pano comparison (2954 x 1000)

View the large color corrected pano (2954 x 500)

Mars Curiosity Rover Pano Color Corrected Comparison Zoom

View the large corrected version of the pano with the uncorrected section (2975 x 500)

I thought it would be interesting to take the RAW uncorrected images from NASA and color correct them as I do with my landscape photos. I have my very own recipe of edits that expand on the basics of finding a black, grey and white point in a scene including mid-tone contrast adjustments, edge masks and more. Relying on the “auto” curves or levels feature in Photoshop may be good for a quick fix, but it’s not always an accurate correction. The biggest challenge obviously in color correcting NASA’s images is that  I don’t have a firsthand experience of seeing the scene with my naked eye and the lighting scenario/time is unknown to me. I can only make educated guesses and fly blind by referencing the data in the RAW file.  While my effort to color correct these images is not perfect it’s easy to see the difference.

Mars Curiosity Rover Pano Color Corrected (NASA vs Mine) Comparison Zoom

Above is the color corrected version from NASA placed atop my version of the scene. I have to trust NASA on this one, but it still seems like it has room for improvement. It would be interesting to learn more from NASA what the Earth equivalent “time of day” these photos were taken on Mars and possibly get a better understanding of the air quality & atmospheric differences. With this additional knowledge Earth-bound landscape photographers who have a great feel for the quality of light at different times of day on Earth might be able to help create a more accurate rendition of what these scenes actually look like.

For now I’ll be waiting patiently for the next batch of  images to be downloaded from Mars. The images above are part of a larger panoramic. It should be pretty amazing to see what it looks like as a whole not to mention see what other amazing images make their way back to NASA.

Additional Info on Mars Color Correction
On this trip NASA included a color calibration target . This is great, BUT it’s only going to help for situations when there isn’t a natural tint of color in the atmosphere (sunset, sunrise, impact from particulate matter, etc.). Here on Earth if you if you use such a color calibration target at sunset or sunrise the golden hour light is completely neutralized even though it’s a naturally occurring color phenomenon. Unfortunately on Mars it may not be known what the naturally occurring hue in the atmosphere  is in general or at different times of the day. I’m hoping that NASA is able to provide information about the angle of the sun in the sky in relation to the photos relayed from the rover. While it may be impossible to know what the average natural hue of the sky is (less a spectrophotometer focused on the sky) it might allow for some modeling to make an educated guess. For purposes of geological study the neutral coloring will likely help study rocks better, but in giving the average person a view of what Mars actually looks like the color calibration target on the rover may not help that much.

Mars Curiosity Rover Color Correction Scale Target

Technorati Tags: Mars, Curiosity Rover, Photo, Landscape, Astrophotography, Color Correction

Copyright Jim M. Goldstein, All Rights Reserved

Curiosity Rover Photos, A Landscape Photographers Perspective

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RC4WD 1/10 Land Rover Defender D90

16 May

running
Video Rating: 5 / 5

this is a review of my d90 electric air soft gun