Mars Science Laboratory on its way - 3
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Uploaded on Nov 28, 2011
On the 26th of November 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory was launched from Cape Canaveral. This timelapse sequence shows a plume drifting against the background stars, probably caused by venting from the Centaur rocket after it carried out a burn over the Indian Ocean.
This is the fullest set of images available as a timelapse sequence. The original data is the same as the previous two videos, but with extra processing.
This sequence was built from cropped & processed frames (originals: JPEG; 3504x2336, cropped to 1440x1080). The 1080p HD version is therefore scaled 1:1 from the original image files.
The start & end exposure times are given on image overlay. 10-second exposures, but 2s between each, so exposure midpoints are 12s apart.
Observing site: -27.630779,152.966324, altitude 40m approx.
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium colleague Mark Rigby was observing visually, from about 16.15 UT, and assisted with initial analysis of the appearance of the plume. There are more images and discussion of this event on the Planetarium's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BrisbanePlan...
More info from Duncan Waldron: http://ausalba.weebly.com/contact.html (Twitter: @ozalba)
MSL is carrying the Curiosity rover vehicle to Mars, following the success of its predecessors Spirit and Opportunity. This JPL animation shows MSL's departure from Earth, arrival on Mars, and gives an impression of its activities on the Martian surface: http://youtu.be/P4boyXQuUIw
As the JPL animation starts, the final upper stage Centaur rocket burn is taking place, to send MSL out of Earth's gravity and on to Mars. My timelapse sequence starts some time after the separation of the main payload from the Centaur booster, shown around 0:28 in the JPL animation. Look out for the amazing "rocket crane" sequence from 2:53, as the lander is lowered gently to the Martian surface.
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