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By Robert R Hoffman; Arthur B Markman

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S. Geological Survey (USGS) saw some Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR) pictures that changed their conception of the Sahara Desert’s underlying structure. The Shuttle Imaging Radar System (SIR-A) sent back picture-like data revealing a vast network of valleys and smaller channels winding beneath the desert sands. ” 169 Radars, generally, do not penetrate soils. But, unexpectedly, the SIR did penetrate the dry desert soils. Within a second or so of their very first glance at the pictures, the pictures spoke a thousand words to the USGS scientists.

For publications in popular outlets, experts sometimes change their figures to match the goals of their text and the figure captions, rather than writing captions to fit the figures. , for an article about radio-emitting nebulae, an image may be recolorized to make the apparent emission pattern match a visible-light image). The primary or scientific goal of image processing is to support scientists’ accurate perception and comprehension. As one expert astronomer put it, “through a complex series of adjustments and modifications of an image.

Some of the line drawings were sparse, some were more detailed. Some were properly aligned with the photo that they superimposed and some were misaligned, and the participants’ task was speeded recognition of (mis)alignment. Line drawings that indicated the longer features were responded to more rapidly (by about 1 s, with 10% greater accuracy) than line drawings with short lines, but only when the line drawings were properly aligned. In one condition, the participants were initially exposed to the stimuli in a task in which they themselves attempted to produce outline drawings for each of the photographs.

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