Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars: Shadow at Point Lake
Posted on 02/05/2013 5:05:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the robotic Curiosity rover currently exploring Mars. Curiosity landed in Gale Crater last August and has been busy looking for signs of ancient running water and clues that Mars could once have harbored life. Pictured above, Curiosity has taken a wide panorama that includes its own shadow in the direction opposite the Sun. The image was taken in November from a location dubbed Point Lake, although no water presently exists there. Curiosity has already discovered several indications of dried streambeds on Mars, and is scheduled to continue its exploration by climbing nearby Mt. Sharp over the next few years.
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the landing sequence still blows my mind.
Looks like fishing at the lake is not going to be very good this year.
The Cassini craft has been in the field for quite a while as well. New Horizons launched in 06 and won’t reach its destination till 2015
As Buzz Aldrin said from the Moon, “Magnificent desolation”. It is almost like some of the desert areas in Utah.
See, I knew it! Traces of intelligent life on Mars... ;')
I always like taking note of the dust accumulating on the vehicle. (Looks like a nice day. - no place to raise your kids, though. In fact, it's cold as hell.)
Having ones blood boil out through the eyes probably gets old in a hurry, too. ;’)
I started the d/l of the big one, and my internet link hiccoughed. Will try again later. :’(
Looks like 30 more years of no extra-earth human spaceflight.
This may also be of interest, and of course, there’s a much better chance of someday visiting in person:
Explore 75 Miles of Grand Canyon Trails and Roads With Google Street View
YOUTUBE | February 3, 2013 | DL Cade
Posted on 02/03/2013 6:41:54 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER
Our thorough exploration of Mars using robotic means has already far exceeded the pre-Apollo robotic exploration of the Moon; it is very much a necessity to do so in advance of human Mars missions, which technically may (or may not) be possible per se right now. My view is that Von Braun’s risk minimizing approach is best and that this robotic exploration is rooted in that.
Von Braun’s idea of going to Mars matured into a follow-on from Apollo. He envisioned assembling the Mars mission in LEO, using a minimum of 12 Saturn V launches (IOW, the entire lunar program and a bit more, just to do one Mars mission).
If enough water were available in near-Earth orbit, using photovoltaics to turn it into hydrogen and oxygen for the fuel for Mars shots (and probably for other interplanetary missions), a big kick engine to push the manned portion of the mission to Mars and back, along with its tank, would be the rest that would be needed from Earth’s surface. The booster would have to be easy to recycle for each leg, as the work would be done in micrograv conditions, and on both ends.
Obviously for this to be feasible, there would also have to be an ample water supply near Mars as well. An automated system to gather the water, deploy photovoltaics, and accumulate the fuel and oxidizer, would have to be launched, probably in modules, to arrive, self-manage, and operate some few years prior to the crew launch. This ensures that the fuel for the return trip would be available before they set out.
This would have to be financed by asteroid mining, which would use much of the same kind of technology. Mars exploration would also have to be with a view of colonization, which IMHO is probably a nutty thing to try for the next, oh, century or so. Meanwhile, a permanent human presence in space, and in orbit around Mars in particular, would have to be established.
Because my eyes are adapted to the amount of light that reaches Terra, the light balance thing they do allows a human like me (seriously, I'm human, really, cooks are human) to identify objects like metamorphic rock vs. sedimenatary rock pretty easily.
In natural Mars light, I would have a tougher time identifying objects, not counting the freezing and exploding and asphyxiating thing.
I wish they had sent this one to the Cydonia region.
It looks fine, right? But compare it to the panorama and you'll see the change in color balance. So let's see it the way it looks. It's on Mars! It IS Mars!
Besides, I'm moderately color-blind. I'm happy with a sharp, crisp view. If I need color data, there's a machine for that and I can view the graph.