• SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of The Paracast, the exclusive After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, plus show transcripts, the new Paracast+ Video Channel, Classic Episodes and Special Features categories! We now offer lifetime memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://www.theparacast.com/plus/

    The Official Paracast Store is back! Check out our latest lineup of customized stuff at: The Official Paracast Store!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

Mars Monolith Discovered ---Makes Yahoo Top Story


Ron Collins

Curiously Confused
In looking at the surrounding topography,we can easily see that the idea of a boulder tumbling down a steep incline and coming to rest at this location is supported. Again, in looking for structures one MUST consider location. Building an object on the side of a crater or ravine should be considered at very least unconventional. Construction and maintenance would be harder and it is hard to imagine the purpose of the object.

Its an easy equation to imagine. If we are seeing structures on Mars or the Moon then they were built in such a way as to last eons. This might not be difficult on the moon but mars has a very active weather system. So planning has to come into the conversation. When creating a structure one of the first things to consider is its foundation. to build something that lasts this long it has to have a firm and immobile foundation. Large, mostly flat, sightly elevated land with a good bedrock is where you would build something. Hell, you might even build it at the bottom center of a crater. You would not build it on the side of a crater or ravine. The foundation is too unstable. To me, there is a near 100% certainty that this is exactly what they say it is. An unremarkable boulder.

Now, I am by no means saying that it is not possible that there are structures of artificial origin on both the moon and mars. But I have seen absolutely nothing that is conclusive.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
Good analogy for us technically less sophisticated, Ron. What still doesn't compute when I apply that consideration while studying the image is: why, if the pixelation could be producing a rectangularish artifact, why isn't that artifactual limitation causing the smaller objects in the image to appear 'squarish'? Please excuse the clumsiness of my wording, Ron . My background is in film and analogue video. The artifact are different. As an example of distortion, I have seen video footage shot at night of supposed ufo's, shaped like a disc with a notch in it. Any cameraman should be able to identify this particular 'craft'- it is created by going full zoom in and fully out of focus. This results in the light taking the shape of the registration plate iris inside the camera-which is a disc shape with a notch in it. That so many shots of this particular 'ufo' are still featured in ufo tv documentaries always makes me chuckle.
This would be the same 'ufos' that appear in the NASA 'tether' incident? The one in which a supposedly 3-mile wide ufo goes behind the 12-mile tether? I must admit I used to think that was a great real video and then I saw the explanation - and yes, all those 'ufos' were disc shaped with a notch!
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Good analogy for us technically less sophisticated, Ron. What still doesn't compute when I apply that consideration As an example of distortion, I have seen video footage shot at night of supposed ufo's, shaped like a disc with a notch in it. Any cameraman should be able to identify this particular 'craft'- it is created by going full zoom in and fully out of focus. This results in the light taking the shape of the registration plate iris inside the camera-which is a disc shape with a notch in it. That so many shots of this particular 'ufo' are still featured in ufo tv documentaries always makes me chuckle.
That is one thing that stands out about David Serada's Tether UFO claims. I have heard him refer to himself as a professional photographer yet he claims to have derived an insight into UFO propulsion and ET science from studying these known photographic artifacts in that footage!
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
Isn't the tether thing just a perfect example of where you fall on the UFO situation?

You get people like myself who either did not know what is was, or thought it was a UFO but then found out otherwise.
And you get people like Sereda, who no doubt when presented with evidence it is a camera artefact, still maintains it is a UFO because he has a vested interest in it being so, or he is just dishonest, or both!
 

Jabbermocky

Paranormal Maven
Isn't the tether thing just a perfect example of where you fall on the UFO situation?

You get people like myself who either did not know what is was, or thought it was a UFO but then found out otherwise.
And you get people like Sereda, who no doubt when presented with evidence it is a camera artefact, still maintains it is a UFO because he has a vested interest in it being so, or he is just dishonest, or both!
Nancy Talbott (as per her Dutch buddies) is another example.
 

bbridges

Paranormal Maven
That could certainly be true. Like Don Ecker has pointed out several times, the DOD and NASA have been joined at the hip since the get-go. Who actually knows how many DOD missions there have been? They paid to map the moon for a second time! You have to wonder, "How does the DOD utilize that data to perform it's mission?"

If the DOD is footing the bill through some black budgets and some of those missing trillions, then NASA doesn't need public appeals and congress. Yet, NASA seems to be dependent on foreign space agencies more than ever. It's hard to make all the pieces fit without forcing it a bit.
I think the DOD has very little need for NASA at this point. It's'obsolete'.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Oops-my bad, boss.
Drop back to using the old book cipher. I'm not so sure using The Complete Illustrated Pop-up Kama Sutra for that was such a good idea, but ya'work with what ya' got.

I think the DOD has very little need for NASA at this point. It's'obsolete'.
The military certainly has their own space program going on that seems to have leapfrogged NASA. The Air Force's shuttle, or at least the one we know about, is unmanned. I think there has been a tremendous move for sometime to go to remotely controlled and autonomous vehicles and fighting machines. It wouldn't surprise me if the legendary secret astronaut corps were actually joy stick jockeys.

The next logical step is the commercial exploitation of space. Check out Planetary Resources, Inc. Someone is going to smell the money that is hanging out there and go for it unless they are just prevented by governmental regulation. I don't think technology is going to be the limitation.
 

Ron Collins

Curiously Confused
trainedobserver said:
The military certainly has their own space program going on that seems to have leapfrogged NASA. The Air Force's shuttle, or at least the one we know about, is unmanned. I think there has been a tremendous move for sometime to go to remotely controlled and autonomous vehicles and fighting machines. It wouldn't surprise me if the legendary secret astronaut corps were actually joy stick jockeys.
Agreed completely! In fact, sending a fleet of USV's (unmanned space vehicles... can I trademark that?) into space would be loads safer and more economical. No worries about life support systems, food, rescues, or any other human concern. If the thing malfunctions, it will eventually burn up in the atmosphere with no loss of life.

trainedobserver said:
The next logical step is the commercial exploitation of space. Check out Planetary Resources, Inc. Someone is going to smell the money that is hanging out there and go for it unless they are just prevented by governmental regulation. I don't think technology is going to be the limitation.
Asteroid mining is the future of space exploration. I have heard that Eros is worth over 50 million dollars a ton. With a mass of 6.69×1015 kg (courtesy of wikipedia) that makes it worth over 11 TRILLION dollars today. Thats 12 zeros after the 11!! Im in the wrong business!
 

Ron Collins

Curiously Confused
Good analogy for us technically less sophisticated, Ron. What still doesn't compute when I apply that consideration while studying the image is: why, if the pixelation could be producing a rectangularish artifact, why isn't that artifactual limitation causing the smaller objects in the image to appear 'squarish'? Please excuse the clumsiness of my wording, Ron . My background is in film and analogue video. The artifact are different. As an example of distortion, I have seen video footage shot at night of supposed ufo's, shaped like a disc with a notch in it. Any cameraman should be able to identify this particular 'craft'- it is created by going full zoom in and fully out of focus. This results in the light taking the shape of the registration plate iris inside the camera-which is a disc shape with a notch in it. That so many shots of this particular 'ufo' are still featured in ufo tv documentaries always makes me chuckle.
Sorry, I didn't get back to you on this one. I am also going to apologize for the novel i am about to write, but this is not a quick one paragraph answer. :)

Firstly, here is a nice writeup the folks at Arizona State university did to explain the various and sundry processing anomalies the LROC creates before the image is transmitted to NASA.


http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/data/LRO-L-LROC-5-RDR-V1.0/LROLRC_1001/DATA/SDP/NAC_DTM/COMPTONBELK/NAC_DTM_COMPTONBELK_README.TXT

The section that best addresses your question is this:

Boxes
Some DTMs have rectangular areas that are usually about 0.5-1.0 m different in elevation from the surrounding areas. These are artifacts of the processing algorithms used in SOCET SET ((c) BAE Systems). There may be groups of these boxes. They are almost impossible to edit out, so the user should look for such artifacts in a terrain shaded relief map before using the DTM for analysis.

Note: DTM (Digital Terrain Model)

Socet Set is (SOCET SET - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) is a software package from BAE Systems that is used by NASA to help create an accurate topographical map of the area.

DISCLAIMER ** I am going to loosely describe how this works. So, all you tech heads reading this please understand I am not trying to teach a graduate course here. I am just trying to, in layman's terms, describe the seemingly anomolous nature of the photos and why, many times, they are not all that anomalous. Feel free to add to or correct me if I am wrong. I have spent an astonishing number of hours reading about these systems and feel I have a good understanding of them. That said, I have never used them. Thus, some slack should be given. :)

Ok, now that the disclaimer is out of the way and the question, from a technical perspective, is answered I will do my best to explain what it all means. So here is what happens.

The first thing to understand is that NASA is not snapping flat images of the lunar surface to build a stitched Equirectangular projection map. This is the process of taking 500 images slightly overlapping images and stitching them together to make one gigantic image, and then mathematically warping those flat images in order to apply to the surface of an ovoid or sphere.

They are taking images in order to create a highly accurate 3D terrain map of the entire lunar surface. The Equirectangular projection map project was done 40+ years ago. Technology has changed since then and this is far out of date.

So how do they get the information needed to create such a map? The answer is from two co-confirmative sources. The LROC (Lunar Reconnoissance Orbiter Camera) and the LOLA (Lunar Reconnoissance Orbiter Laser Altimeter). The one we are concerned with is the visual terrain mapping project. This is called the LROC (Lunar Reconnoissance Orbiter Camera) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) Digital Terrain Model (DTM). Or if you are an acronym junkie.... the LROC NAC DTM.

The LROC takes what amounts to a series of stereoscopic images of the surface. Meaning that two separate lenses with known distances from each other record the same image from a slightly different vantage point. This enables software (SOCET SET) to run through an intensely complex process known as stereophotogrammetry or just photogrammetry depending on the image collection method.

So basically this process takes the two images of the same area and performs math I am not smart enough to follow in order to triangulate precise points and convert them to super accurate position points for the model. It can also calculate topographical variance. Meaning, altitude of the camera in respect to the objects it is photographing. It does this by laying the stereo images on top of one another and running a comparison calculation along with known distances and positions of the camera when the images were taken. They apply all of this and more math that I cant follow to come up with a processed image that is then transmitted to NASA as a raw image ready for stage 2 of the overall process.

These raw images are what we are looking at. Because of the process I just outlined the images beamed to NASA are, in a way, pre-processed at the LRO level. The problem you are seeing is that the pre-processor could not accurately understand the variance. Thus, it guessed. This is a known algorithmic programming/math error when the image contains certain variable ranges. In this case, the boulder fits in this glitch prone range. The boulder would be over 0.5 - 1.0 meters greater in altitude than the surrounding topography. Therefore, the glitch shows up as dark honed edges.

Your question was why do the smaller objects look clear and this bigger object look distorted. This is the reason. The imager algorithm saw that the object was much taller than the surrounding topography and freaked out.

Now, you might be asking, given these inconsistencies how do they get a super accurate 3D model? The answer is that they cross reference the data from another awesome piece of equipment on the LRO. The aforementioned LOLA (Lunar Reconnoissance Orbiter Laser Altimeter). This camera shoots a laser at the surface of the moon and then measures the return time. Thus giving it a very accurate distance/altitude measurement. Obviously they cant shoot a laser at every square micrometer of the Lunar surface so they have a process of tagged areas of interest along with a mapping grid pattern they follow. Sometimes, the NASA folks will mark a given area of terrain for the LOLA to target giving them more information to crossreference for making their highly accurate 3d terrain map of the Lunar surface.

I hope that answered your question. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will do my best to explain it or at least put you on the path to finding the answer.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Your question was why do the smaller objects look clear and this bigger object look distorted. This is the reason. The imager algorithm saw that the object was much taller than the surrounding topography and freaked out.
The important thing to remember is that this, as Ron is pointing out, has nothing to do with a optics. You are looking at a highly rendered digital image. This is digital information processed to display an image and therefore the logic behind how things appear in it is vastly different from an optically created image.
 

Ron Collins

Curiously Confused
I was reading up on the Mars Global Surveyor mission and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission currently underway just to see how they differ/compares to the LROC. Here are a couple of highlights concerning the MOC.

MOC (mission was 4/1/1999 - 11/2/2006) Here is a technical document concerning a broad outline of the spacecrafts mission systems.

Data Records and Products

As with sequence planning and instrument operation, data analysis will also be the sole responsibility of the PI, TM, and Interdisciplinary Scientists (IDS). Thus, MOC images will be reconstructed from raw data at a facility dedicated to MOC operations and data analysis. Based on the present data rate allocations, MOC will return approximately 3.5 X 10^11 bits during the 687 day nominal mission. MOC data can be compressed between 1.5 and 2.5 times without loss, and up to 10-20 times with acceptable loss. A reasonable assumption is that MOC data will be compressed, on average, about 5 times, so the total data output when decompressed will be about 2 X 10^ 12 bits. The MOC investigation is not currently funded to "decompress" its data for return to either the Mars Observer Project Data Base or the Planetary Data System. The plan is to leave the data in its compressed form, and to provide as part of the Experiment Data Record (EDR) the decompression algorithms, pre-launch calibration files, and available supplementary information (e.g., planet and spacecraft ephemeris, etc.). The exception to this plan is the production of a daily global image for use by the Project Science Group in mission and science planning, and data analysis. MOC Reduced Data Records will not be produced as separate entities; rather, refined ancillary information and/or calibration data will be appended to the EDR. The Mars Observer project data release plan calls for all science data to be released to the Planetary Data System, and hence to the broader scientific community, approximately six months after receipt.
{Full Document}



So the data is sent in a compressed format. This format has some data loss as a function of the compression algorithm. It depends on how much compression is used and the effectiveness of the decompression algorithm. Either way, with a 10x compression, you are going to get data loss that will manifest itself in the form of an apparent optical anomaly. The good part is that since it is an anomaly introduced via an algorithmic process it should be uniform enough to identify. Just like in the LROC data. They found algorithmic induced artifacts that followed certain patterns and then set target points to recapture a given area or to cross reference the position with LOLA data. The Mars Global Surveyor did not have a laser altimeter as part of its sensor package. I am still going through the system but their options may have been limited to recapture using the same camera at a different angle and physical altitude. I'll update more about this system after I am finished reading it.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
Ron, it is apparent you are very familiar with image processing etc - can I ask what your skill level is with this stuff? Is it part of your occupation etc?
I am easily impressed having next to nil skills in this area and it's always a pleasure reading someone like yourself explaining the why's and why not's of these things. I love this forum because collectively there is a good body of different skills and I would venture the average IQ of this forum is perhaps a little higher than an equivalent from Coast to Coast!
 

Top