Iapetus Raw

Images taken by various space probes are made available to the public soon after they are uploaded to Earth, but because of the sheer number received, most images remain in raw form until they can be calibrated and corrected. These raw images are full of artifacts from data loss, cosmic rays, and dust on the camera lens (see the background image of Iapetus). The images may also be overexposed or variable contrast.

The availability of these images is a boon for space enthusiasts and amateur scientists. During the Voyager missions of the 1970s and 1980s, the public had to wait for their newspaper to arrive, the nightly news to come on, or a new book to be published on the subject to see the latest images of the outer planets and their moons. With the advent of the Internet, awe is just a click away.

The public database of images taken by Cassini is available at JPL’s Cassini-Huygens website.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).