The Face on Mars of ESA

Critics to the 3D animation

by Walter Hain

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September 27, 2007


In July 2006, the European Space Administration ESA succeeded with the space probe MARS EXPRESS new images of the Face on Mars and the Cydonia area.

To this a quotation from the home page of the ESA:

"Up to now too large over-altitudes as well as dust and vapor in the Mars atmosphere prevented high-quality HRSC consumption of the Cydonia area. On July 22, 2006, at the 3253rd orbit, it then worked out under almost perfect conditions. It succeeded images in a solution not yet there up to now of 13,7 meters per image element (pixel). Thanks to 3D engineering different geological structures can not only be recognized but also they can be pursued spatially to all pages."

On October 23, 2006, the DLR institute put an 3D animation of the Face on Mars into the Internet. This animation shows strange peaked elevations.

In English language Internet pages is therefore reported from the "horned face" of ESA.

Actual appear these strange elevations into the Face on Mars of the ESA not corresponding to the actual factors on Mars. All pictures ones before made of the other Mars probes show no clue or shadow throws which such elevations would justify.

Employees of the DLR institute informed me according to a corresponding inquiry that everything would run correctly. However, the images must made strongly over-high in order to be able to make a corresponding 3D effect.

For this purpose, the comment of the Institute for Geosciences of the Free University Berlin:

"The movie sequence was produced through a combination of digital data from the HRSC and the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on board NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, in a technique similar to that used to create the Cydonia 'Face' 3D still images published on the ESA portal in September. The 3D animation starts looking towards the East, and finishes with a still image looking South."

And further: "In this case, the MOC display data, which contain no height information, were placed geographic exactly via a digital model of the ground of the Cydonia area completely. From this a perspective representation of the strange island mountain could then be made which were encouraged to in motion pictures in the computer. The 3D animation begins east with a look in the direction and ends with a statue looking to the south."

The pictures of the MARS EXPRESS camera (HRSC) have a solution of 13,7 m per pixel. The picture of the MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR of April 8, 2001, the up to this time best photo of the Face on Mars, has a solution of 2 m per pixel. The page of Malin Space Science System required for that shows no clues for a "horned face".

Also a 3D simulation of this image of 2001, produced by Jim Garvin of the NASA, shows no "horns" or peaked elevations like in the 3D animation of the ESA.

To this, a comment of Lan Fleming dated on September 30, 2006, which has determined various height information already in 2002 on account of the data of the MGS:

"No image shows any evidence of this "horn" that has suddenly appeared on the Face, and there have been at least 5 or 6 taken by MGS and Themis since 1998."

Itself the usual images of the ESA of 2006 show no references onto peaked elevations into the Face on Mars. If such ones would exist, the VIKING images of 1976 would already have shown that.

Image: ESA

Therefore, the 3D animation of the ESA of the Face on Mars, must re-worked and corrected because she does not correspond with great probability to the actual form of this mountain on Mars.



last update March 2013