I was wondering how long it would take before this happens - but it appears that now a few amateur astronomers have been 'pillaging' or plagiarizing the hard work of others. Today I spotted this post by post by Damian Peach, perhaps the world's best planetary imager. He details how one of his images was basically colorized and re-processed, and then "claimed" to be done by another. But before going farther on this thread - here's one a superb example of Damian's work:
The Planet Mars - 16 October, 2005
The detail in this image is absolutely fantastic - almost Hubble telescope quality, but taken with a 14-inch telescope and a high tech planetary 'web' camera (Luminera). I suppose sooner or later 'someone' would want to emulate this - but rather than take +10 years of hard knocks training, instead resort to an easier and much less respectable means.
OK - Now lets take the time and look at both Damian's and Mr. Forde's images. Damian has posted a a comparison of these images taken on 9/22 and that of the image posted by Mr. Forde on October 3rd. Close inspection though the tint is different - the position of the details are exactly the same. This in of itself, is very hard to do on two different dates. Also, though Mr. Forde's image has slightly more detail - the processing is very similar - which is *rare* for the best imagers. Everyone has their own technique - and after a time its easy to spot another's image just by how it 'looks'.
But the kicker is that the phase angle - or the percent illumination is also the same. No way in hell, Batman - NOT for two different dates! For Sept. 22 the phase is 91.0%, while for October 3rd - its 93.8% (Btw - Damian posted the wrong date - I had checked Forde's website).
This Guy has balls..
On the Marsobserver's list (Yahoo groups) - a full scale 'witch hunt' is now underway. Not only are this guy's Mars images suspect - but also it appears that images of Jupiter and Saturn may have been 'altered'/'lifted', too! One of the most telling posts is this one, where a noted imager details how this is 'highly unlikely' that a Canon Digital rebel could produce such an image.
I'll give this dude this much - he has some ability in image processing as he was able to boost the details in the mars and other images. But he also has a lot of balls to not only have a website - but to post this on other imaging lists as his own.
Absolutely friggen amazing and disgusting..