APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

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APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri May 21, 2021 4:07 am

Image Utopia on Mars

Explanation: Expansive Utopia Planitia on Mars is strewn with rocks and boulders in this 1976 image. Constructed from the Viking 2 lander's color and black and white image data, the scene approximates the appearance of the high northern martian plain to the human eye. For scale, the prominent rounded rock near center is about 20 centimeters (just under 8 inches) across. Farther back on the right side of the frame the a dark angular boulder spans about 1.5 meters (5 feet). Also in view are two trenches dug by the lander's sampler arm, the ejected protective shroud that covered the soil collector head, and one of the lander's dust covered footpads at the lower right. On May 14, China’s Zhurong Mars rover successfully touchdown on Mars and has returned the first images of` its landing site in Utopia Planitia.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by Ann » Fri May 21, 2021 4:43 am


Well, finally an APOD that I don't have to spend hours composing an intelligent comment on! :D

I'll say this much:

This Martian fields of rocks looks darn rust-colored. And no long-lasting body of water has spent millennia (or more) washing over these rocks to give them a rounded shape.

I don't know about you, but I'll take the Earth over Mars any time! (And since most people visiting this site are likely to be Americans, I'd better show you the Earth turning its American face our way!) 🌎

Ann
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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by orin stepanek » Fri May 21, 2021 12:34 pm

vikinglander2-2_1024.jpg

I was just curious & wanted a better look! :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by canopia » Fri May 21, 2021 1:08 pm

Pictures from Viking missions looks to have better colour balance. Now, they are set to have excessive brown-yellow.

Tunç

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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by heehaw » Fri May 21, 2021 3:02 pm

If that is Utopia, I'll take hell.

george whiston

Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by george whiston » Fri May 21, 2021 3:05 pm

UTOPIA on Mars ! Foreground space junk The pollution is well under way!

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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by johnnydeep » Fri May 21, 2021 4:01 pm

Ann wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 4:43 am
Well, finally an APOD that I don't have to spend hours composing an intelligent comment on! :D
Indeed! Nor will I have to be confused and post many questions that you need to respond to!
Ann wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 4:43 am
I'll say this much:

This Martian fields of rocks looks darn rust-colored. And no long-lasting body of water has spent millennia (or more) washing over these rocks to give them a rounded shape.

I don't know about you, but I'll take the Earth over Mars any time! (And since most people visiting this site are likely to be Americans, I'd better show you the Earth turning its American face our way!) 🌎

Ann
I suspect we Earthlings are somewhat biased toward finding our home particularly pleasing to our senses :ssmile:

EDIT: well, ok, just one question. Is there any way to get notified of updates to a thread here without posting something first? Sometimes I'll post something just so I can know if others are posting anything beyond what I've already read.
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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by Arioch » Fri May 21, 2021 6:39 pm

What kind of geological process could create this landscape?

bgdavenport

Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by bgdavenport » Fri May 21, 2021 9:18 pm

Has anyone mentioned the fact that there are at least two different types of rocks in this photograph. One group, prominent in the foreground, appears to be igneous while the other, a bit further in the background, appears to be metamorphic (no visual evidence to support a sedimentary layer). It's easy to spot the difference between the two. The former is pock marked with rounded surfaces while the latter has sheared faces with sharp edges. How those two appear in the same debris field is an interesting question. I'm thinking the igneous rock is ejecta from an ancient volcano or meteorite impact. Somebody needs to go to Mars and dust all that stuff off! It's unsightly. :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri May 21, 2021 9:54 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 4:01 pm
EDIT: well, ok, just one question. Is there any way to get notified of updates to a thread here without posting something first? Sometimes I'll post something just so I can know if others are posting anything beyond what I've already read.
Click on the little wrench icon at the top of the page (under the topic title) and select "Subscribe topic". (Or "Unsubscribe topic" if you want to stop getting notifications.)
Chris

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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by neufer » Fri May 21, 2021 10:25 pm

an Infernal named heehaw wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 3:02 pm

If that is Utopia, I'll take hell.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Asimov%27s_Utopia wrote:
<<Isaac Asimov's Utopia (1996) is a science fiction novel by American writer Roger MacBride Allen, set in Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation universe. Utopia takes place five years into the reign of Alvar Kresh as the governor of Inferno, who is now married to roboticist Fredda Leving. The re-terraforming effort is doing fairly well, but many believe it is still doomed to failure. The plot centers around a plan created by an Infernal named Davlo Lentrall to use a comet, named comet Grieg after the old governor, to dig a channel creating a northern sea.>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia_Planitia wrote:
<<Utopia Planitia (Greek and Latin: "Nowhere Land Plain"—loosely, the plain of paradise) is a large plain within Utopia, the largest recognized impact basin in the Solar System with an estimated diameter of 3300 km. It is the Martian region where the Viking 2 lander touched down and began exploring on September 3, 1976, and the Zhurong rover touched down on 14 May, 2021, as a part of the Tianwen-1 mission.

Many rocks at Utopia Planitia appear perched, as if wind removed much of the soil at their bases. A hard surface crust is formed by solutions of minerals moving up through soil and evaporating at the surface. Some areas of the surface exhibit scalloped topography, a surface that seems to have been carved out by an ice cream scoop. This surface is thought to have formed by the degradation of an ice-rich permafrost.

On November 22, 2016, NASA reported finding a large amount of underground ice in the Utopia Planitia region. The volume of water detected has been estimated to be equivalent to the volume of water in Lake Superior.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by johnnydeep » Fri May 21, 2021 11:14 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 9:54 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 4:01 pm
EDIT: well, ok, just one question. Is there any way to get notified of updates to a thread here without posting something first? Sometimes I'll post something just so I can know if others are posting anything beyond what I've already read.
Click on the little wrench icon at the top of the page (under the topic title) and select "Subscribe topic". (Or "Unsubscribe topic" if you want to stop getting notifications.)
Thanks, that’ll do!
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Re: APOD: Utopia on Mars (2021 May 21)

Post by neufer » Sat May 22, 2021 2:45 am

bgdavenport wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 9:18 pm

Has anyone mentioned the fact that there are at least two different types of rocks in this photograph. One group, prominent in the foreground, appears to be igneous while the other, a bit further in the background, appears to be metamorphic (no visual evidence to support a sedimentary layer). It's easy to spot the difference between the two. The former is pock marked with rounded surfaces while the latter has sheared faces with sharp edges. How those two appear in the same debris field is an interesting question.

I'm thinking the igneous rock is ejecta from an ancient volcano or meteorite impact.
http://explanet.info/Chapter06.htm wrote:
6.4.2 Utopia Planitia

<<The view from orbit shows that Utopia Planitia is a relatively smooth plain, locally dotted with low volcanic domes and small craters. The crater frequency is lower here than at Chryse and must represent a younger surface. The simplest history of the area maintains that Viking 2 landed [200 km west] on the far edge of an ejecta blanket formed when the crater called Mie was excavated.

Using various instruments the Viking landers alternately poked, prodded, scooped, hammered, cooked, and analyzed the martian soil. Comparison with terrestrial materials indicates that the martian soil may have originated from hydration or alteration of iron-rich basaltic rocks, consistent with the hints of volcanism in both areas.

The recent conclusion that a few meteorites are samples of Mars blasted away by a low angle impact, opens a new door for our exploration of Mars. These SNC meteorites (short for Shergotty, Nakhla, and Chassigny) are igneous rocks with basaltic compositions very similar to that found by the landers and rovers. The gases trapped within them have the same composition as that of the martian atmosphere as analyzed by several spacecraft. Their ages (some are 1.3 billion years old) are extremely young for any asteroid and suggest that they must have formed on a large planet that cooled slowly and had a long volcanic history. Their compositions tell us that there is significant water in the martian interior and at the surface; the abundances of moderately volatile elements like potassium suggest that Mars has a larger endowment of volatiles than Earth itself.>>
Art Neuendorffer