Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum
Processes of Science: Mars, a Case Study #6021 Whitewater Lake Rock Viewed by Opportunity
Date: September 6, 2012
Photographer: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ Cornell Univ./Arizona State University
A rind that appears bluish in this false-color view covers portions of the surface of a rock called “Whitewater Lake” in the top half of the view from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. This rind is similar in appearance to weathering rinds previously seen by Opportunity on rocks elsewhere within the Meridiani Planum region.
Whitewater Lake is in the Matijevic Hill portion of the Cape York segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. The view is presented in false color, which enhances color differences among various geological materials in the scene.
Whitewater Lake is the large flat rock in the top half of the image. From left to right it is about 30 inches (0.8 meter) across. The dark blue nubby rock to the lower left is Kirkwood, which bears non-hematite spherules. The rocks to the lower right look like breccias: a type of rock containing jumbled fragments cemented together. They resemble other rocks in the area classed as the Shoemaker formation, which is hypothesized to hold deposits of material ejected when an impact excavated Endeavour Crater billions of years ago.
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Supplementary: Essential Lens: Processes of Science - Mars, a Case Study
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Program 1 A Closer Look (video)
This introduction to the course models the process of analyzing photographs with teachers and students. Photography historian Makeda Best discusses the Focus In method with teachers, and educator Julie Keefe employs the method with students at a photography exhibit on "light and dark." Photography curator at the Portland Art Museum, Julia Dolan discusses how she carefully selects a set of photographs to tell a larger story.
Program 2 Witness (video)
Photographs bear witness to world events and help us to learn more about people, places, and situations -- historical and present day. Middle school teacher Donald Rose guides students in analyzing photos from school integration movements of the 1960s. Documentary film producer Ken Burns weaves photographs into historical narratives to bring the past to life. Photojournalist Louie Palu's photos take us deep into mines and war zones, and engage us with the individuals who take on those tasks.
Program 3 Lives (video)
Lives explores the story of human resilience and perseverance. Middle school teacher Donald Rose uses the Migrant Mother photos by Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange to help students understand what elements a photographer chooses to focus on to create the greatest impact. Historian Linda Gordon, biographer of FSA photographer Dorothea Lange reveals Lange's role in engaging Americans in the plight of those who were most devastated. New Orleans documentary photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick talk about the transformation of their photographs after Hurricane Katrina and working with young photographers to preserve the city's cultural heritage.
video 4 Evidence (video)
An image can show us otherwise invisible processes, previously undiscovered life forms, and dramatic change over time. High school teacher Rima Givot engages her students with highly magnified photos of mouse muscle to study genetically modified organisms. Scientist and photomicrographer Dennis Kunkel demonstrates the fascinating process of creating photographs of the microscopic world. Environmental photographer Gary Braasch reports on his worldwide travels to document the state of the planet through repeat photography.
Program 5 Story (video)
Every photograph tells a story: of struggle, of beauty, of community and culture. Social studies teacher Kim Kanof uses photos from the Protests and Politics collection to teach about protests around in the world in 1968. National Geographic photo editor Pamela Chen details the collaborative process of creating photo-based feature stories with design director David Whitmore. Iowa photographer Danny Wilcox Frazier discusses his work documenting the residents and images of marginalized communities across the United States.