It's been, oh, maybe 3 weeks since I posted the last hi-def POV video of Curiosity's amazing descent to the surface of Mars but this time it's in Ultra High Def and at 30fps! Who wouldn't want to see that? And with audio no less. Not sure if the audio is dubbed in or was actually captured with the video. Compared to Earth Mars doesn't have much of an atmosphere but because sound can travel through several different types of media - air, liquids, solids, etc - audio capture would probably be possible but I'm not sure NASA set the rover up for that. Whatever the case, the imagery is worth seeing.
A photograph captured by the Mars rover, Curiosity, shows an unconformity in the strata of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside nearby Gale Crater. An unconformity is a geological feature marking a stop in sedimentation and erosion of a surface before the overlying layer is deposited. The photo above shows the two distinct rock layers (marked by a line of white dots) that make up the unconformity. The upper layer, which is tilted left to right in relation to the lower layer, contains no evidence of hydrated minerals found in the lower layer. This idicates the two layers were laid down in different environments.
Courtesy NASAWith the passing on Saturday of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, there has been a lot of media coverage of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Armstrong, very private in his non-astronaut life, seems to be a bit camera shy during his time on the moon too. You can read – and see – all about it here.
Courtesy NASA via UStreamThe Mars rover Curiosity managed to make it through seven minutes of terror and land safely and pretty much flawlessly this morning on the surface of the Red Planet. The amazingly complicated landing, which took place around 12:25 CDT, was broadcast on the internet and on NASA-TV. It was very thrilling to watch, and a great accomplishment for all the scientists involved. They were ecstatic, as you can well imagine.
Courtesy NASA via WikipediaToday, Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the Moon, celebrates his 82nd birthday. Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio on this day in 1930. Some thirty-eight years later, in July of 1969, Armstrong and two other US astronauts, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins traveled to the Moon in the Apollo 11 spacecraft. As Collins orbited the Moon in the command service module (CSM), the other two crew members descended to the surface in the lunar module (LM). After successfully landing on the Sea of Tranquility, Armstrong climbed down the LM ladder and took his historic first step onto the surface at 2:56 UTC July 21, 1969. Aldrin joined Armstrong about 20 minutes later, and the two astronauts spent the next 2-1/2 hours of the mission investigating the lunar surface, setting up science-gathering equipment, and collecting rock and soil samples, before blasting off the surface to rejoin Collins for the return trip to Earth.
Tonight, as you're wondering if your level 81 dark elf mage and her sweet double-enchanted dragonscale armor makes up for the girlfriend you lost playing Skyrim, turn your xbox over to the live streaming of the landing of the new Mars rover, Curiosity. Because it's right there on your console's dashboard!
It's really a win-win situation. Arborea Darkshadow can wait a few minutes, I'm sure, and you'll either get to witness an action-packed landing of a big new Mars rover, or you'll get to see the hopes and dreams of hundreds of scientists and engineers crash and disintegrate on the cold surface of a dead planet millions of miles away!
You know what JGordon will be doing approximately 12 hours from now? Definitely not watching the Curiosity landing! But that's only because I don't have an internet connection at my apartment. No, I'll probably be forcing the cat to participate in the St. Paul Cat Olympics. As far as I know, there will be only one contestant, but it promises to be hilarious! Why? Because she probably can't swim very well.
Mars! Be there!
Courtesy NASA via WikipediaBack in the late 60s and early 70s, during the Apollo lunar-landing missions, astronauts planted a US flag at each landing site. Now, forty years after Apollo 17 became NASA's last manned flight to the moon, scientists, studying images supplied by the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter (LRO), have determined that all but one of the planted flags are still standing. Click here to learn more, and to find out which flag has fallen over and why.