Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reverse Image Search Returns Nearly Identical Photo from 36 Years Ago

While visiting beautiful New York City earlier this year, an Australian photographer named Kiernan traveled to the top of the Empire State Building and snapped a photograph of the cityscape. After returning home, he decided to do a reverse image search on Google just to see what he might find. He was surprised to discover that the top result was a nearly identical photograph that was captured 36 years ago.
Chicago-based illustrator Ken Smith, has the caption: Toward lower Manhattan and Wall Street; the twin towers of the 3-year-old World Trade Center are in the distance, and the sharp prow of the Flatiron Building is just to the left of lower center, where Broadway cuts diagonally across Fifth Avenue at 22nd Street. Kiernan tells us, I thought it was interesting thing to not only see the difference in New York over the last four decades, but also the power of Google image search and the rather nice surprise that someone else has in history chose to use the exact same composition and focal length so many years before hand. The next time you snap a photograph from a popular picture spot, try doing a reverse image search through Google or TinEye. You might find yourself taken back in time!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Touchdown: Mars rover Curiosity lands successfully (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Robotic rover Curiosity has successfully landed in Mars’ Gale Crater. The goal of the $2.5 billion mission is to find evidence that the Red Planet was once capable of supporting life. After touchdown, the Curiosity rover sent home telemetry signal and black-and-white pictures from the surface of Mars. The first images sent by the Curiosity, though clouded by dust kicked up during the landing, clearly showed the shadow cast by the rover, with its wheels firmly on the ground. "We're on Mars again," NASA chief Charles Bolden said at a post-landing media conference. "It's just absolutely incredible. It doesn't get any better than this." The mission will help gather crucial data for an eventual manned expedition to Mars, Bolden said. Curiosity aims to discover if the planet was once able to support life, and whether it will be able to do so in the future. The final phase of Curiosity’s automatic landing sequence involved a hovering ‘sky crane’ that lowered the car-sized rover to the ground, and then deactivated by crashing into the surface of Mars. The technique had never been attempted in previous planetary exploration missions. The landing, described by NASA as “seven minutes of terror,” proceeded smoothly and within the planned timeframe. Deviations from the expected path of descent were within the lower range of engineers’ expectations, NASA scientist Adam Steltzner said. Just over a quarter of the craft’s 400 kilograms of fuel were expended during the powered flight phase. The Curiosity team will test the rover’s instruments and systems in the coming days before proceeding with the mission. Curiosity’s mission is expected to last for at least two years. The rover will seek out carbon-based compounds, which could prove that life once existed on Mars.