27 January 2008

life on Mars?

NASA released a composite photo of the Martian surface on 2 January 2008 from the rover Spirit.
NASA'S Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this westward view from atop a low plateau where Sprit spent the closing months of 2007.

After several months near the base of the plateau called "Home Plate" in the inner basin of the Columbia Hills range inside Gusev Crater, Spirit climbed onto the eastern edge of the plateau during the rover's 1,306th Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 5, 2007). It examined rocks and soils at several locations on the southern half of Home Plate during September and October. It was perched near the western edge of Home Plate when it used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to take the images used in this view on sols 1,366 through 1,369 (Nov. 6 through Nov. 9, 2007). With its daily solar-energy supply shrinking as Martian summer turned to fall, Spirit then drove to the northern edge of Home Plate for a favorable winter haven. The rover reached that northward-tilting site in December, in time for the fourth Earth-year anniversary of its landing on Mars. Spirit reached Mars on Jan. 4, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 3, 2004, Pacific Standard Time). It landed at a site at about the center of the horizon in this image.

This panorama covers a scene spanning left to right from southwest to northeast. The western edge of Home Plate is in the foreground, generally lighter in tone than the more distant parts of the scene. A rock-dotted hill in the middle distance across the left third of the image is "Tsiolkovski Ridge," about 30 meters or 100 feet from the edge of Home Plate and about that same distance across. A bump on the horizon above the left edge of Tsiolkovski Ridge is "Grissom Hill," about 8 kilometers or 5 miles away. At right, the highest point of the horizon is "Husband Hill," to the north and about 800 meters or half a mile away.

This view combines separate images taken through Pancam filters centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers to produce an approximately true-color panorama.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
The image was widely reported in the media on 23/24 January 2008. The only reason why the media took an interest was because of fuss on the internet about the image of a possible humanoid.



The thing is, not even the BBC checked the original facts
The image is from a Nasa posting of the Spirit's landing site in 2004.
Wrong! It was 6-9 November 2007.

In any case, Martian life forms may not be humanoid. The easiest proof would be for the rover Spirit to return to the same site and take another picture of the same place, perhaps closer. If the 'humanoid' hasn't moved, then it is a rock formation.

***************
I slept in today until 10am! Haven't done that in a long time. Most of the day was vegging on the couch watching episodes of season two of Angel. Well, until the late afternoon anyway.

Devi came over in the afternoon with her electric (battery) hedge trimmer and trimmed the driveway hedge while I finished mowing the lawn. Devi also did a lot more other gardening than I did, as I took Kane2 for a walk.

I cooked Mongolian lamb (off a leg of lamb, sauce made with a tablespoon each of bean sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup and a teaspoon of hot chilli sauce and a wedged onion) for dinner with rice.

2 comments:

jh an Mickey Mantle said...

deer daniel,
duz kane havva southern acsent?
jus wunderin.
luv--jh
mi mom wantz to know if "there will be blood" opened in australia yet? she sez it'z daniel day lewis'z gratest performance inna film.
hoo'z daniel day lewis?

Daniel said...

hey jeter

kane doesn't bark except in his sleep! woof!

as he is a german shepherd, he has a german accent. ha ha ha!

"there will be blood" starts on 9 february here. thank your mom for the tip.

luv, me