A general exposition of the scientific potentialities and analytic framework of space photography is presented using the photography of Mars from flybys and orbiters as the principal example. Space photography is treated here as a communication process in which planetary scene information is communicated to the eye–brain receiver of earth-based interpreters. The salient parameters of this process are: (1) total information returned, (2) surface resolution, and (3) a priori knowledge regarding the planetary surface observed.
© 1970 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 19, 1969
Published: June 1, 1970
B. C. Murray and M. E. Davies, "Space Photography and the Exploration of Mars," Appl. Opt. 9, 1270-1281 (1970)