Space fans delight in using UAE data set to create own depictions of Red Planet

Enthusiasts are processing the information from the Hope probe to process their own pictures of Mars

Space enthusiasts around the world are taking to Twitter to post their own depictions of Mars, drawing from data shared by the UAE.

The Emirates Mars Mission released its first full science data set, including data from its three instruments, on October 1. About 500 images from the Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) system are included in the data set and thousands more are expected with the next release in January 2022.

The observations were made by the Hope probe as it orbited the Red Planet between February 9 and May 22 this year.

One thing that was not predicted by the scientists at the UAE mission was the reaction from the public upon receiving the information.

After downloading the image data from the EXI system, enthusiasts have been processing their own images of Mars using the high-resolution output from the instrument.

“We have been very pleased to see the Mars images captured by Hope probe being shared over Twitter by the local and international community,” said Hessa Al Matroushi, science lead at the Emirates Mars Mission.

“The diverse range of treatments of the EXI images has opened up new views and perspectives.”

The EXI camera is capable of taking highly detailed images and is being used to measure water, ice and ozone in the atmosphere of Mars.

The system was developed at the University of Colorado Boulder, in collaboration with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

In the first 10 days of the data release, about two terabytes of information had been downloaded from the Science Data Centre, of which 1.5tb is EXI data.

“EXI has already surpassed our expectations and its first observations have been taking place throughout the Martian cloudy season,” said Ms Al Matroushi .

“We know that, during this time – spring and summer in the Martian northern hemisphere – a belt of clouds forms near the equator.

“We’re now able to see daily changes and are building a library that will allow us to measure seasonal changes in the dynamics of those cloud formations.”

Emirates Mars Mission is studying the relationship between the upper layer and lower regions of the Martian atmosphere, giving the international science community full access to a holistic view at different times of the day, through the seasons.

The Hope probe is following its planned 20,000 to 43,000-kilometre elliptical science orbit, with an inclination to Mars, giving it the unique ability to complete one orbit of the planet every 55 hours.

It can capture a full planetary data samples every nine days throughout its one-Martian-year mission (two Earth years) to map Mars’ atmospheric dynamics.

Updated: October 18, 2021, 5:54 AM