APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

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APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby APOD Robot » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:06 am

Image Crystals on Mars

Explanation: This extreme close-up, a mosaic from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the Curiosity rover, spans a breathtaking 5 centimeters. It captures what appear to be elongated crystal shapes formed by the precipitation of minerals dissolved in water, a likely result of the evaporation of ancient lake or river from the Martian surface. Brushed by a dust removal tool and illuminated by white LEDs, the target rock named Mojave was found on the Pink Cliffs outcrop of the Pahrump Hills at the base of Mount Sharp. The MAHLI images were acquired on Curiosity's sol 809, known on planet Earth as November 15, 2014. Of course, the inset 1909 Lincoln Cent image is provided for a comparison scale. Covered with Mars dust itself, the penny is a MAHLI calibration target attached to the rover.

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby ta152h0 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:38 am

I would have lent you my 1909 indian head penny !!
Wolf Kotenberg

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby MLBTHIRD » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:26 am

The 1909-P V.D.B. in the picture AND the 1909 Indian referred to are CENTS not PENNIES! The English use Pennies, the USA uses Cents. I know, I know, So what??? This is NOT the furthest coin from Earth! What is? A "States" Quarter.

alex_space

Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby alex_space » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:04 am

Cristals ? No ! Footprints of martian hen walking randomly in the mud.

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby RedFishBlueFish » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:22 am

Interesting choice of calibration marker.

Until that coin there were no regular issue United States coins which contained a presidential likeness - as the founders did not wish to continue the European tradition of having the likeness of the monarch on coinage, for the president was not a monarch, and Washington did not want even a suggestion of such.

It also, marked the first appearance of the now continuous use of a religious statement on US coinage (though such decelerations of religious faith had sporadically appeared on prior coins) as the founders had also specifically avoided an Established Church in the new country, as they were looking back on the centuries of European religious slaughters resulting from fusing State and Religion.

Bit of pandering by NASA, in my view.

Oh, and the crystals are interesting too!

E pluribus unum.

pitonkigyo

Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby pitonkigyo » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:54 am

This is beautiful! Does this crystal exist on Earth? Does it have a name?

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Guest » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:09 pm

RedFishBlueFish wrote:Interesting choice of calibration marker.


According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code, which sets out crimes related to coins and currency, anyone who “alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens” coins can face fines or prison time. And lets face it, putting this coin on Mars impairs its value as passable currency. Of course, obtaining the evidence for any such a conviction requires producing the evidence that is in in fact a penny (tho I have no doubt) in court. And right now, that seems to be out of the question.

But it did make me wonder just how expensive it was to get this particular penny to Mars? Probably makes it the most valuable coin in the solar system.

I noted on the image of the crystal that there were several 'circular swirls' that seemed a little inconsistent with the balance of the surface markings. I'm sure the hardness of the brush is known, and that would indicate a relative hardness of the crystal. Giving some indication of its makeup. Also, I would also have expected the surface to appear more angular and regular, more crystalline, in general appearance and structure. Esp from a crystal formed during a process of evaporation.

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby rstevenson » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:25 pm

Surely a cent is a cent is a cent. But having been sent to a smaller planet, I have the sense that this cent is less of a cent, in weight if not in mass, than its sent-less cousins on Earth.

Rob [sentient being, most days]

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:49 pm

Guest wrote:According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code, which sets out crimes related to coins and currency, anyone who “alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens” coins can face fines or prison time.

Bit of a myth, that. In fact, it is only a crime to alter coins fraudulently, which means with the intent to pass them as something they are not. Coins can be legally cut, drilled, turned into jewelry, plated... you name it, so long as you don't pass them as different coins. The rules for paper currency are slightly different. All that is prohibited is altering them in such a way that they are unfit for reissuance.

Suffice to say, this penny (a perfectly acceptable term for the coin) has arguably been removed from circulation, but it isn't illegal to remove a coin from circulation.

But it did make me wonder just how expensive it was to get this particular penny to Mars? Probably makes it the most valuable coin in the solar system.

Indeed. If we every colonize Mars, we'll need to build a museum around these artifacts, complete with alarms. Because if there aren't any thieves in the first ship or two of colonists, there most certainly will be by the third or fourth.

(There are certainly coins here on Earth with much higher value than the cost of transporting this penny to Mars. But its new value doesn't really have anything to do with the actual cost of transport, does it?)
Chris

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Guest » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:19 pm

RedFishBlueFish wrote:Interesting choice of calibration marker.
It also, marked the first appearance of the now continuous use of a religious statement on US coinage (though such decelerations of religious faith had sporadically appeared on prior coins) as the founders had also specifically avoided an Established Church in the new country, as they were looking back on the centuries of European religious slaughters resulting from fusing State and Religion.

Bit of pandering by NASA, in my view.


I don't know why that is pandering, NASA and the Mint are both US agencies, and all coinage now has the motto on it. Pandering to whom? Dead Edwardians?
As far as your religion statement, most European wars were over geography or monarchial egos, not religion. But for some of the "religious" conflicts we ought to thank our stars (no pun) that there were men brave enough to wage them, such as Lepanto, for without that bravery we'd be living a very different lifestyle (if we existed at all). It's surely better for us not to judge our ancestors, especially from the comfort and safety of the huge arrmchair we call the 21st Century, a construction for which we personally contributed nothing...

Polarys

Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Polarys » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:14 pm

I think I can see Jesus in the crystals!

:shock:

tomatoherd

Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby tomatoherd » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:12 pm

So as not to create confusion, the two 'guests' above are different. I am the last/second one, at 3:19 PM. Dunno why it lost my 'tomatoherd' username, think i took too long to click submit (distractions!).
Anyhow, a bit of religion (and anti-religion) being tolerated today, unlike 12/09, when my innocuous comparison of that nebula to the Burning Bush was deleted. Not complaining actually. We can't divorce astronomy completely from theology, at least where there is overlap with cosmology. Now politics: that can be divorced! (except maybe when discussing agency budgets.)

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby ta152h0 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:23 pm

That penny on Mars probably was unnoticed by the rocket that propelled it there along with the aeroshell that slowed it down. It cost a certain amount to send all those ounces to Mars and not a penny more because of that particular penny.
Wolf Kotenberg

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:43 pm

http://www.ancient.eu/writing/

This APOD is not Martian writing but somewhere, someday would we recognize another civilization's attempt to communicate should we find it on another world? I always thought it would be a unique way to string sentences and paragraphs together as circles amongst circles with the words and thoughts intermingling in ring structures as pictured in the Incan archaeological site – Moray but on an, obviously, much smaller scale for practicality. Wonder if code could be circular rather than linear to connect overlapping concepts? (That tells you about my knowledge of code :oops: )

Moray1.jpg


Today's APOD almost has that form in its crystalline structure. Almost.

"It's sedimentary my dear Watson" :)
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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Ludo » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:27 pm

Just came to mind that if an extra terrestrial entity were to encounter Curiosity it might think that our god is what's represented in the coin. In Lincoln we trust!

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby BMAONE23 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:28 pm

Ron-Astro Pharmacist wrote:http://www.ancient.eu/writing/

This APOD is not Martian writing but somewhere, someday would we recognize another civilization's attempt to communicate should we find it on another world? I always thought it would be a unique way to string sentences and paragraphs together as circles amongst circles with the words and thoughts intermingling in ring structures as pictured in the Incan archaeological site – Moray but on an, obviously, much smaller scale for practicality. Wonder if code could be circular rather than linear to connect overlapping concepts? (That tells you about my knowledge of code :oops: )

Moray1.jpg


Today's APOD almost has that form in its crystalline structure. Almost.

"It's sedimentary my dear Watson" :)

There is one very circular code that is contained, uniquely, in everyone and the clue is in your avatar
The double Helix of the genetic code is highly circular when viewed from an end.
Here is an interesting though long (75 page) PDF on Genetics

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:16 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:There is one very circular code that is contained, uniquely, in everyone and the clue is in your avatar


Very good point. That code presents in many forms and varieties. I wonder how many examples are present in our world alone. My wife thought my avatar represented a mutant sperm (I'm sure the one that resulted in me). Originally, I meant it to represent life escaping to other worlds. Curiosity may one day uncover evidence that that's universal.

One Curiosity or another.
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galaxite

Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby galaxite » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:59 pm

alex_space wrote:Cristals ? No ! Footprints of martian hen walking randomly in the mud.

As a matter of fact, there is a universal law that relates the size of a hen to the size of the planet it inhabits. That explains why the footprints are much smaller on Mars.

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby geckzilla » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:03 pm

tomatoherd wrote:So as not to create confusion, the two 'guests' above are different. I am the last/second one, at 3:19 PM. Dunno why it lost my 'tomatoherd' username, think i took too long to click submit (distractions!).

Create a user account. That way I can just PM you instead of banning you next time. :wink:
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

spacewitch

Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby spacewitch » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:35 pm

These are the fossilized footprints of a tiny herd of nano-raptors. The absence of an overlapping micro-raptor trackway and the general randomness of the orientations suggest they were not being pursued.

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby Mactavish » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:30 am

Indisputable evidence of a prehistoric dance . . the “Nano-Raptor Stomp” !

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby DavidLeodis » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:49 pm

rstevenson wrote:Surely a cent is a cent is a cent. But having been sent to a smaller planet, I have the sense that this cent is less of a cent, in weight if not in mass, than its sent-less cousins on Earth.

Rob [sentient being, most days]


I wonder what the scent of that sent cent is now? If it has no scent then it might be (as can be pronounced in Scotland) a nae scent nascent object as it starts its life on Mars. :P

David (a centient being :wink: ).

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby rstevenson » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:36 pm

Oy! Sco'ish puns!

Rob

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby BMAONE23 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:29 pm

rstevenson wrote:Surely a cent is a cent is a cent. But having been sent to a smaller planet, I have the sense that this cent is less of a cent, in weight if not in mass, than its sent-less cousins on Earth.

Rob [sentient being, most days]


Being less of a cent by weight on Mars
Would that make it a Ha'penny?

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Re: APOD: Crystals on Mars (2014 Dec 12)

Postby rstevenson » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:05 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:Being less of a cent by weight on Mars
Would that make it a Ha'penny?

Even less. Gravity on Mars is only 38% that of Earth.
So it'd be a Lessthana Ha'penny.

Rob


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