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Kantzveldt

Bio Station Alpha

592 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

There may be fantastic and wonderful mysteries to discover on Mars and aren't we lucky to live in an age where we have satellites orbiting it and detailing the surface and remote controlled rovers that can wander the surface doing science experiments to further our understanding of Mars.

But as long as people insist on keeping alive "mysteries" like this that have obviously been thoroughly debunked, then you'll never find the truth.

For every genuine mystery of the universe, there are a hundred hoaxes, misreports, misinterpreted grainy footage of a lens flare, etc.

And unless you can learn to recognise the BS, you'll never learn see the genuine articles, because you'll be overwhelmed by the rest of the crap.

Being open minded beens being able to genuinely examine what appears to be interesting and mysterious, but it also means being able to say "Okay, I thought it was some sort of Mars station, but it's obviously some sort of data glitch combined with the anti-aliasing of blown up low resolution imagery as several people in this thread have shown conclusively"

Saying "Yeah, but still, it might be a secret facility on Mars even though all the evidence suggests it's nowhere near as interesting" isn't open minded, because it is basically an admission that you favour explanations that emotionally satisfy you even if the evidence points to a dull prosaic interpretation of what we are looking at.

Ignoring everything you are told is just as closed minded as believing everything you are told.

Edited by Archimedes

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There may be fantastic and wonderful mysteries to discover on Mars and aren't we lucky to live in an age where we have satellites orbiting it and detailing the surface and remote controlled rovers that can wander the surface doing science experiments to further our understanding of Mars.

But as long as people insist on keeping alive "mysteries" like this that have obviously been thoroughly debunked, then you'll never find the truth.

For every genuine mystery of the universe, there are a hundred hoaxes, misreports, misinterpreted grainy footage of a lens flare, etc.

And unless you can learn to recognise the BS, you'll never learn see the genuine articles, because you'll be overwhelmed by the rest of the crap.

Being open minded beens being able to genuinely examine what appears to be interesting and mysterious, but it also means being able to say "Okay, I thought it was some sort of Mars station, but it's obviously some sort of data glitch combined with the anti-aliasing of blown up low resolution imagery as several people in this thread have shown conclusively"

Saying "Yeah, but still, it might be a secret facility on Mars even though all the evidence suggests it's nowhere near as interesting" isn't open minded, because it is basically an admission that you favour explanations that emotionally satisfy you even if the evidence points to a dull prosaic interpretation of what we are looking at.

Ignoring everything you are told is just as closed minded as believing everything you are told.

+1... Well said... :tu:

BTW, Welcome aboard...

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+1... Well said... :tu:

BTW, Welcome aboard...

Thanks!

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THe only thing going on with Mars is a Dry Cold Dusty Planet IT may have some Geo-thermal activities and underground water. But We really do need to go to Mars with our manned missions.

Would`nt you rather spend money on Exploration than Wars and Greed Driven conflicts ? :innocent:

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+1... Well said... :tu:

BTW, Welcome aboard...

I would like to second that +1 :tu:

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+1 Plus Bombay Sapphire,and Even some cheap Tanqueray to Boot ! Welcome !

Now thats A Hearty Welcome and Drink up for tomorrow we all Work for our Keep ! :innocent:

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+1 Plus Bombay Sapphire,and Even some cheap Tanqueray to Boot ! Welcome !

Now thats A Hearty Welcome and Drink up for tomorrow we all Work for our Keep ! :innocent:

My mum was a Gin fan ;)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all for the kind welcomes. I'm not a gin man, but if someone wants to send me a bottle of Irish whiskey, I wouldn't mind.

Anyway, I was bored yesterday and felt like playing at armchair CSI and decided to investigate this Bio Station Alpha (BSA) further. One thing I noticed is that earlier in this thread, somebody posted an image of the original Mars Express imagery that had the glitch of a row of white dots. Since then there was vague accusations by some members of images being manipulated by looking at the date that a website that was hosting the images said they were modified on. IO also wasn't totally satisfied some attempts to manipulate that image into looking like BSA. The blurring used just didn't match up with the gradient north-south patterns on BSA.

So, I thought I'd go straight to the horse's mouth and find the original data to verify it exists and it's not just something thrown out after the fact to cover up something. After a bit of Google and hunting around I found the website that hosts the data has links to the original date

Here's the link for anyone who wants to do the legwork themselves and verify what I'm about to post:

http://hrscview.fu-berlin.de/cgi-bin/ion-p?ION__E1=UPDATE%3Aion%3A%2F%2Fhrscview.ion&UPDATE=Update+view&image0=0000ℑ=&lat=0&lon=180.000&code=&mode=footprint&zoom=30&scale=200&pview=North&exag=1.5&viewport=720x360

From there you can put in the approximate co-ordinates of BSA (I round it off to within a fraction of a degree) and it will give you the opportunity to download various images that Mars Express took of the region. The one I was interested in was called H5620_0000_ND2 as every I looked, that was claimed as the image source for the original glitch that supposedly gave rise to BSA.

Anyway, the download link I found was to an FTP server which neither Chrome or Firefox liked, but I got working in Safari. It gave me the opportunity to log in under a Guest account with no password, which opened up a folder on my computer with all sorts of wonderful images. I download the file called H5620_0000_ND2.IMG (which was 372Mb in size!) as well as a bunch of other lower resolution images of the same region - a quick guess would say they're ones taken with red, green and blue filters and in infra red (they had names that ended in _RE2, _BL2, _GR2, _IR2 instead of ND2). For reference, the images are all dated as having been updated 6th August 2009. Google Earth itself says the imagery from BSA is from May 2008. Make of that what you will.

However, the image itself was unreadable to me because it's some proprietary NASA format uses for some satellite data. Not to worry, back to Google and I found out that NASA has a free piece of software called NASAView which allows you to view the images. Woohoo! So I found, downloaded the Mac version and ran that and opened up H5620_0000_ND2.IMG which is a humungous image fill of about 5000 x 35000 pixels (it covers a very large area) and NASAView only allows you to view it in chunks of a maximum size of 2000x2000 pixels, so I eventually hunted down the area in question by having Google Earth open with the area in view open, and tracked down the area of BSA, and right exactly where BSA is, there is that streak of white pixels we've all seen as the claimed source of BSA.

Here's a screenshot from my computer of NASAView of the area in question (apologies in advance for large images for those with slow connections or lower resolution monitors, view the images in a new tab if the forum shrinks down large images):

nasaview.png

You can see that clear streak where BSA is amongst the dark patterns that neatly match up with the brown patches around BSA.

A fair amount of post processing is going to be needed to turn the glitch into BSA. The following are a from Google Earth and NASAView of the same area. You can see how they match up (but not exactly, more on that later):

bsa001.png

nd2001.png

What I noticed is that BSA doesn't follow a neat east-west alignment like the glitch, and the alignment of the dark patches is also a bit off, which made me think that the NASA imagery was rotated (or it's a result of images being warped from whatever projection Google uses near the poles, BSA is quite far north) before being introduced into Google Earth. If you zoom out from BSA, you can see some subtle purplish banding (some sort of post-processing artefact of messing around with different resolution and different orientations of images like Moire patterns?) at an angle that I guess represented the original alignment of the NASA imaging. I've posted an image below to illustrate this:

bsa002.png

So I loaded that from Google Earth into Photoshop to help align the glitch image to align it up with the area around BSA. The scaling between the 2 images is obviously wrong, I know that, but I merely wanted to use the wider Google Earth image as a guide for rotation the glitch image.

nd2003.png

Once that was done I was able to put the newly aligned glitch with BSA and put them side by side for comparison. Note that the alignment of the glitch and BSA are now the same and the dark blotches match up better now.

nd2006.png

Colorisation of images by NASA/ESA is done by taking photos through red, green and blue filter and combining them to get the correct coloring. I'm just going to use a simple image saturation and tweaking of the brightness and contrast to get that brownish-orange huge of Mars. I might see if I can use the red, green and blue filtered images I got and use them as RGB channels in Photoshop to try and closer manage the colours.

nd2007.png

Getting closer now. If you look at BSA or anywhere of that region up close you can see blockiness aligned on the north-south and east-west axes, and judging by the size of the blockiness, it's at a similar resolution (but this is just a visual guess) to the 1 pixel per 6.25 m of the original imagery (according to the source I got the image from) implying that the image was resampled after being rotated. If I try that in Photoshop, experiment with a few different pixel sizes, I get something like the following (starting to look familiar?)

nd2008.png

Whatever smoothing Google uses, it seems to be more focused in the north south direction in stead of smoothing it out in all direction. You can very roughly simulate this by using a motion blur filter in the vertical direction. You get something like this:

nd2010.png

Not really an exact match by a far stretch, but it's clear that if you take that Mars Express image with the glitch which is publicly available from one of their FTP server, and apply a bunch of post-processing filters like color correction, rotation, resampling and blurring, etc. you get something which gives the same overall effect. The Google Earth imagery is very dirty and very noisy which makes me think that a lot of JPEG like compression was done to make the images stream much faster to your computer. It could easily account for the artefacts surround BSA. JPEG compression at high levels adds all sorts of junk to photos.

Edited by Archimedes

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Posted (edited)

There may be fantastic and wonderful mysteries to discover on Mars and aren't we lucky to live in an age where we have satellites orbiting it and detailing the surface and remote controlled rovers that can wander the surface doing science experiments to further our understanding of Mars.

But as long as people insist on keeping alive "mysteries" like this that have obviously been thoroughly debunked, then you'll never find the truth.

Snip...

Excellent post Archimedes!

Edited by Finguz

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It can be a lot of fun playing around with things like this. Well done and thanks for sharing. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

My pleasure. I enjoy messing around with stuff like this.

There's an absolutely amazing amount of Mars imagery available for public usage on those servers. But like I said you'll need NASA's own NASAview software to make sense of the images and export them as readable images - and it's almost unusably unstable on Mac, I had to try several times to export the images I wanted before success because it was crashing every 30 seconds, perhaps the Windows version is much better. Those who would accuse NASA of covering up findings from Mars should do their research properly and use the raw data that's publicly available instead of playing with a toy like Google Mars.

The lesson to be learned is don't use software like Google Earth for anything than other than entertainment and casual research. And I say that as a Google Earth addict.

It's in NASA and ESA's interest to have clean unfiltered unprocessed raw data to look at and it's in Google's interest to have interesting looking imagery that is heavily compressed to stream it to your PC as fast as possible to make your exploration of Mars as fun and quick as possible.

edit: There's apparently a GIMP plugin for reading the .IMG files, but it appears to be Linux only.

Edited by Archimedes

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nd2010.png

Not really an exact match by a far stretch, but it's clear that if you take that Mars Express image with the glitch which is publicly available from one of their FTP server, and apply a bunch of post-processing filters like color correction, rotation, resampling and blurring, etc. you get something which gives the same overall effect. The Google Earth imagery is very dirty and very noisy which makes me think that a lot of JPEG like compression was done to make the images stream much faster to your computer. It could easily account for the artefacts surround BSA. JPEG compression at high levels adds all sorts of junk to photos.

It's still just a tiny bit droopy though, isn't it?

(the one on the right)

:P

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It's still just a tiny bit droopy though, isn't it?

(the one on the right)

:P

Are you saying that Bio Station Alpha needs a lil' more lead in its pencil? :lol:

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Are you saying that Bio Station Alpha needs a lil' more lead in its pencil? :lol:

I might be..... ;)

graphene would be nice....I've heard it's good magical stuff...... :P

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I might be..... ;)

graphene would be nice....I've heard it's good magical stuff...... :P

This statement seems Frudeian in a way ?

post-68971-0-62412600-1307996748_thumb.g

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