Movement in a microscope…

Wow… this is something I NEVER expected to see..! Over 300 images came back from Sol 112 operations on Mars, and among them was quite a number of images from the optical microscope, highly-magnified views of martian dust grains – the same ones I use to make my “jewels” pictures. But I noticed something different about today’s batch of pics – there were several different close-ups of the same pile of dust…

Hmmm, I wondered, if I make an animation out of them will I be able to see any tiny grains shifting, maybe just a tiny bit..?

Well, this is what I got…

That litle dust grain is going crazy!!!!!! You can actually see it knocking against a larger grain beneath it!

I have to be honest, this is one of my favourite images so far. Hope you like it too! 🙂

UPDATE: If you want to see what magic can REALLY be worked with images like this, take a look at what my friend and fellow member of Unmannedspaceflight.com ElkGroveDan has done with the image I posted above. Dan stabilised the background and… oh heck, just go and look, here, he explains it a whole lot better than I ever could! But be prepared to be amazed to see not just one dust grain but LOTS of dust grains dancing as if they’re in a disco with Sister Sledge playing in the background…

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~ by phoenixpics on September 18, 2008.

7 Responses to “Movement in a microscope…”

  1. WOW, I have no idea what caused that?! Thanks for sharing Stu!

  2. […] Sent by: Phoenix | From: Mars | Sent: September, 2008 | Credit: NASA/JPL/UA/Atkinson | Image source […]

  3. Zoost… I’m not that surprised to see some movement. After all, the microscope has tiny motors in it to allow it to move, and to focus, so there’s bound to be some vibration. Also, we’ve seen the lander’s solar panels flexing as wind blows over the probe, so it’s by no means a perfectly stable platform. Then, of course, there’s a chance that wind is sneaking into the lander through a hole somewhere… These dust grains are v v v small and v v v light, so not a shock to see them moving. Dan’s “steadied” animation is far superior to mine, and shows LOTS of the grains moving, which shows the dust pile is definitely being affected by something. 🙂

  4. The organized content of that rolling particle is nearly identical to the ‘cantilever tip’ item I presented in marsroverblog.com as a 3D graphic, originally posted by Horton I believe. Multiple crystalline shapes with elaborate flower-like outer layers! What could this lead to next?
    Please allow me to present a few detailed closeups of the pointed tip and the details of lobed body pattern- it is really quite a ‘lively’ particle which may turn the heads of all eventually.
    The other matching item is on the Mars forum, Phoenix section, of marsroverblog.com, titled ‘MECA-OM Images’, approx. page 15. A link to your animated GIF is on page 17.
    My enlarged closeups are at 4x size, and show great detail from a side-on view.
    Great color and imaging, in acknowledgment of a fine work. A great site.

  5. […] Dancing Dust! Stuart Atkinson has a cool animation of dust grains moving around in Phoenix’s optical microscope. Unexpected, but way cool! Check it out! […]

  6. Appreciate everyone’s comments 🙂

    Use anything you like, dana.

  7. […] Het oorspronkelijke idee van die stof-video was van deze Stuart Atkinson afkomstig, maar diens video was zodanig dat als je daar langer dan 30 seconden naar kijkt je zelf ook de bibbers krijgt. De […]

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