2.10.06

Lakes, Armchairs, Gas Giants and Robots

After it's recent flyby of Titan, Cassini returns yet more radar images of lakes, including these two 'kissing lakes'.



The one on the right looks a bit like Homer Simpson to me. Not sure who he's kissing though. Is it that girl from the Snoopy cartoons?




Now, what is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter? Well, it's yet another one of our robot friends who we've sent to Mars, and it's just arrived and hung up its coat and hat. Apparently it's also 'the highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars', as evidenced by its first proper (greyscale) image:



Rocks and surface features as small as armchairs are revealed in the first image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter since the spacecraft maneuvered into its final, low-altitude orbital path. The imaging of the red planet at this resolution heralds a new era in Mars exploration.


Sadly a big ball of flaming gas is about to get in the way.

For most of October, Mars will be passing nearly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. Communication will be intermittent. Activities will be minimal for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and other spacecraft at Mars during this time, and they will resume in early November.


"Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun!" And now I finally understand why.




In other news, New Horizons, on its way to Pluto, sights Jupiter.

And the Planetary Society have another one of their impressively comprehensive updates on the Mars Exploration Rovers.

3 comments:

tinker said...

Hmmm, does look a bit like Homer Simpson and Peanuts' Lucy.

Seems the Universe does have a sense of humor :)

Michelle said...

I have given myself a headache. I can see Lucy, but not Homer, not a bit. :-(

Pacian said...

Michelle, I've carefully prepared this scientific diagram to aid you.