Where the second biggest is still pretty darn big!
For those of you who’ve never heard of Donald Mitchel, he’s a former computer research scientist and writer who also a space exploration history enthusiast. He is also an expert in the field of image resampling and enhancement. In his latest tweet (down below) Mitchel presents raw images he got from the Soviet Union’s Venera project, which sent back the only photos ever taken from the surface of Venus, our solar system’s second planet from the sun. Alongside those images, Mitchel includes his own “cleaned-up” versions that look far better than the old raw images, several of which had a lot of noise, distortion, and dead pixels that were lost in transmission. Since Venus is a SilverMedals.net favorite, it seemed proper to mention here. Below is a link to Mitchel’s tweet thread where you can find many enhanced images of the Venusian surface along with short explanations of what Mitchel did to clean them up.
Through friends in the Russian science community, I was able to get the raw telemetry from Venera-13 and 14. I funded its recovery from old tapes and conversion to TIF format. It consisted of multiple transmissions with considerable noise. pic.twitter.com/W0m1RYN230
— Donald Mitchell (@DonaldM38768041) March 3, 2020
The image above for this post is taken from Mitchel’s tweet. The left shows the Soviet processing of the image done back in the 1980s, and on the right we see Mitchel’s reworked enhancements. There’s very nice work there.