APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

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APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon May 02, 2016 4:11 am

Image Crossing Mars

Explanation: Where is NASA's rover Curiosity going on Mars? Its geographical goals are on the slopes of Mount Sharp, whose peak is seen in the background on the right. A key scientific goal, however, remains to better assess when and where conditions on Mars were once suitable for life, in particular microbial life. To further this goal, Curiosity was directed to cross the rugged terrain of Nautkluft Plateau, visible in the featured image on the foreground left. Curiosity is crossing toward smoother uphill sites with rocks containing hematite and sulfates, sites that could give the rolling rover new clues on how long this part of Mars was wet -- and hence more favorable for life -- before drying out. Of recent concern, however, is Curiosity's aluminum wheels, which are showing increasing signs of wear. Although already fulfilling the goals of its two year study, Curiosity's mission has been extended as it continues to uncover valuable information about the extraordinary past of Mars, the next planet out from the Sun from Earth.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Ann » Mon May 02, 2016 5:48 am

This is a fascinating image, showing clear signs of a dried out rill. There is a sort of geometrical cracking in the ground which suggests, to me at least, once-moist ground cracking as it was drying out.

But the picture looks a little too close to home. The sky in the image is blue. In reality, the Martian sky is known to be a shade of pale ocher, due to all the microscopic grains of rust-colored sand suspended in the thin, storm-ridden atmosphere.

Ann
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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by daddyo » Mon May 02, 2016 6:43 am

That makes for a rough hike. Great imagery.

I hope I get to experience in my lifetime an immersive video of not only the sights, but sounds of a rover and whatever the slightest whisper of atmosphere there may be. Wouldn't that just be amazing? Who cares if it takes four months of uploads.

heehaw

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by heehaw » Mon May 02, 2016 8:47 am

A hundred years from now, I wonder how the 'Martians' wikipedia page will compare with today's Antarctica Demographics wikipedia page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograph ... Antarctica

alex_ag

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by alex_ag » Mon May 02, 2016 10:29 am

Ann wrote:This is a fascinating image, showing clear signs of a dried out rill. There is a sort of geometrical cracking in the ground which suggests, to me at least, once-moist ground cracking as it was drying out.

But the picture looks a little too close to home. The sky in the image is blue. In reality, the Martian sky is known to be a shade of pale ocher, due to all the microscopic grains of rust-colored sand suspended in the thin, storm-ridden atmosphere.

Ann
Absolutely. Looks like official propaganda to indulge inhabited missions to planet mars. Mars sky is definitely not blue.

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by geckzilla » Mon May 02, 2016 10:33 am

alex_ag wrote:Absolutely. Looks like official propaganda to indulge inhabited missions to planet mars. Mars sky is definitely not blue.
Brilliant! This is exactly why the sky ended up this color! Next, let's Photoshop some goats into the pictures. People will want to journey to Mars for sure, then!

Seriously, I never get over people arguing about what color Mars really is. It's like we've already gone and come back. I think these photos are closer to reality than whatever you're imagining. The sky is kind of a dull grey here and the sun fairly low on the horizon. The closer we look to it, the bluer the sky appears, exactly as previously celebrated: "Mars has blue sunsets! Holy crap!" (For some reason nobody questioned that when it went up on APOD.)
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

Guest

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Guest » Mon May 02, 2016 12:31 pm

Ann wrote:... The sky in the image is blue. In reality, the Martian sky is known to be a shade of pale ocher, due to all the microscopic grains of rust-colored sand suspended in the thin, storm-ridden atmosphere.
I did some reading from other sites on the NET and found that as a result of light scattering at sunrise and sunset, the sky on mars can take on a blueish grey hue... But when the sun is overhead, it takes on the traditional red-muddy color. Reference the differences between Rayleigh scattering and Mie scattering. See sites like: https://briankoberlein.com/2015/05/18/t ... s-one-sun/

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Wadsworth » Mon May 02, 2016 1:13 pm

Mars, I love it!

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by icthioo3@verizon.net » Mon May 02, 2016 1:34 pm

what's the deal with that cable or hose in from of the left wheel? Is that a cut I see on it?

Steve Dutch

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Steve Dutch » Mon May 02, 2016 1:39 pm

This business of "extending" missions is absurd. The policy should be that a mission lasts as long as the spacecraft is functional.

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 02, 2016 2:22 pm

Steve Dutch wrote:This business of "extending" missions is absurd. The policy should be that a mission lasts as long as the spacecraft is functional.
That's simply not possible. Projects operate under budgets, and there's no way the system will work with open-ended budgets. Projects have goals and timelines. Once those are met, if the equipment can still support it an extension can be proposed and budgeted, just like any other project.

It's not like this mission is free now that the launch and rover have been paid for. The tens of millions of dollars a year it takes to run it have to come from somewhere.
Chris

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alex_ag

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by alex_ag » Mon May 02, 2016 2:22 pm

geckzilla wrote:
alex_ag wrote:Absolutely. Looks like official propaganda to indulge inhabited missions to planet mars. Mars sky is definitely not blue.
Brilliant! This is exactly why the sky ended up this color! Next, let's Photoshop some goats into the pictures. People will want to journey to Mars for sure, then!

Seriously, I never get over people arguing about what color Mars really is. It's like we've already gone and come back. I think these photos are closer to reality than whatever you're imagining. The sky is kind of a dull grey here and the sun fairly low on the horizon. The closer we look to it, the bluer the sky appears, exactly as previously celebrated: "Mars has blue sunsets! Holy crap!" (For some reason nobody questioned that when it went up on APOD.)
Oh yeah. For instance: http://www.universetoday.com/98521/huge ... curiosity/

heehaw

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by heehaw » Mon May 02, 2016 2:23 pm

Steve Dutch wrote:This business of "extending" missions is absurd. The policy should be that a mission lasts as long as the spacecraft is functional.
NASA has a limited budget. Decisions on ending missions have to be made, or new and better missions will be delayed, with the effect of less total science. This is called Management 101.

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 02, 2016 2:27 pm

geckzilla wrote:I think these photos are closer to reality than whatever you're imagining.
I agree. Images almost never capture what things actually look like. Our eyes automatically color balance everything to a sunlit-Earth norm. Images generally don't. The reference targets on the rover are neutral, which tells me this image has had its white balance set about right, and that means that what we're seeing here is probably pretty close to the visual appearance we'd get standing on Mars.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Fred the Cat » Mon May 02, 2016 3:00 pm

It's not the destination, it's the journey.
Destination.jpg
(From Mount Sharp)

But the view from the destination should be marvelous! :thumb_up:
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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Not A Crank » Mon May 02, 2016 4:12 pm

alex_ag wrote:
geckzilla wrote:
alex_ag wrote:Absolutely. Looks like official propaganda to indulge inhabited missions to planet mars. Mars sky is definitely not blue.
Brilliant! This is exactly why the sky ended up this color! Next, let's Photoshop some goats into the pictures. People will want to journey to Mars for sure, then!

Seriously, I never get over people arguing about what color Mars really is. It's like we've already gone and come back. I think these photos are closer to reality than whatever you're imagining. The sky is kind of a dull grey here and the sun fairly low on the horizon. The closer we look to it, the bluer the sky appears, exactly as previously celebrated: "Mars has blue sunsets! Holy crap!" (For some reason nobody questioned that when it went up on APOD.)
Oh yeah. For instance: http://www.universetoday.com/98521/huge ... curiosity/
Exactly - probably taken at noon, local time. See below.
Guest wrote: I did some reading from other sites on the NET and found that as a result of light scattering at sunrise and sunset, the sky on mars can take on a blueish grey hue... But when the sun is overhead, it takes on the traditional red-muddy color. Reference the differences between Rayleigh scattering and Mie scattering. See sites like: https://briankoberlein.com/2015/05/18/t ... s-one-sun/

Jim Armstrong

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Jim Armstrong » Mon May 02, 2016 4:22 pm

I love the Curiosity photos and the Rover ones before.
The set at Roswell just gets better and better.
The top-left blackout of the contrails in the blue sky is a little obvious though.
Nest timr they'll have to pack some spare tires.
Actually, I save most of these pics and look them over in detail often.

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Asterhole » Mon May 02, 2016 4:42 pm

The image most likely was processed to show how the scene would appear if it was here on Earth. Yes, Martian skies are actually pinkish and hazy due to the suspended dust.
No doubt there was water standing and flowing at this location (which is why Gale Crater was chosen for the Curiosity mission.) But long enough to allow the formation of what we know as life? I wouldn't say it's a waste of NASA's time to look, but I'd be willing to bet Mars is now, has always been, and always will be sterile unless we humans introduced life of some sort from our planet...
They're all wasted!

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Fred the Cat » Mon May 02, 2016 5:02 pm

Not A Crank wrote:
geckzilla wrote:
alex_ag wrote:Absolutely. Looks like official propaganda to indulge inhabited missions to planet mars. Mars sky is definitely not blue.
I don't know about the sky but, according to Jim, the pen is. :ssmile:
Last edited by Fred the Cat on Mon May 02, 2016 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by rstevenson » Mon May 02, 2016 5:09 pm

Asterhole wrote:... I'd be willing to bet Mars is now, has always been, and always will be sterile unless we humans introduced life of some sort from our planet...
Which we certainly will, probably long before the scientists would be comfortable with our doing so -- which would be never, I suspect.

Rob

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by rstevenson » Mon May 02, 2016 5:12 pm

Ann wrote:This is a fascinating image, showing clear signs of a dried out rill. There is a sort of geometrical cracking in the ground which suggests, to me at least, once-moist ground cracking as it was drying out.
Don't forget, we're in an impact crater here. I'm guessing those cracks were created in a rock layer during the impact, and then the material above it eroded away.

Rob

guenthert

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by guenthert » Mon May 02, 2016 6:27 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
geckzilla wrote:I think these photos are closer to reality than whatever you're imagining.
I agree. Images almost never capture what things actually look like. Our eyes automatically color balance everything to a sunlit-Earth norm. Images generally don't. The reference targets on the rover are neutral, which tells me this image has had its white balance set about right, and that means that what we're seeing here is probably pretty close to the visual appearance we'd get standing on Mars.
Isn't that taking the idea of automated white balance in the brain a bit too far? A cloudy day on earth is grey, a sandstorm makes the sky appear yellow-reddish-brown on earth, so why should we expect the dusty sky on mars to look blue to us?

Steven Dutch

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Steven Dutch » Mon May 02, 2016 6:53 pm

NASA has a limited budget. Decisions on ending missions have to be made, or new and better missions will be delayed, with the effect of less total science. This is called Management 101.
It costs millions a year to run existing missions, billions to launch new ones. Closing down existing missions to add pennies to a new mission's budget is the very definition of "penny wise, pound foolish."

Tekija

Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by Tekija » Mon May 02, 2016 7:10 pm

geckzilla wrote:
alex_ag wrote:Absolutely. Looks like official propaganda to indulge inhabited missions to planet mars. Mars sky is definitely not blue.
Brilliant! This is exactly why the sky ended up this color! Next, let's Photoshop some goats into the pictures. People will want to journey to Mars for sure, then!
There is a precedent to that:
Europeans became aware of Greenland's existence, probably in the early 10th century, when Gunnbjörn Ulfsson, sailing from Norway to Iceland, was blown off course by a storm, and happened to sight some islands off Greenland. During the 980s, explorers led by Erik the Red set out from Iceland and reached the southwest coast of Greenland, found the region uninhabited, and settled there. Eirik named the island Greenland (Grænland in Old Norse and modern Icelandic, Grønland in modern Danish and Norwegian) in effect as a marketing device. Both the Book of Icelanders (Íslendingabók, a medieval account of Icelandic history from the 12th century onward) and the Saga of Eric the Red (Eiríks saga rauða, a medieval account of his life and of the Norse settlement of Greenland) state "He named the land Greenland, saying that people would be eager to go there if it had a good name."
(fromWikipedia)

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Re: APOD: Crossing Mars (2016 May 02)

Post by MarkBour » Mon May 02, 2016 7:13 pm

geckzilla wrote: ... Seriously, I never get over people arguing about what color Mars really is. It's like we've already gone and come back. I think these photos are closer to reality than whatever you're imagining.
I don't expect that astronauts on Mars will settle the question, either. No doubt it changes a lot as conditions vary, and we have the infamous example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress ... henomenon).
Mark Goldfain