APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue May 25, 2010 4:06 am

Image Looking Back Across Mars

Explanation: It's been a long trip for the Martian rover Opportunity. Last week Opportunity surpassed Viking 1 as the longest running mission on Mars, now extending well over six years. Pictured above, Opportunity's tire tracks cross a nearly featureless Martian desert, emanating from a distant horizon. Landing in 2004 in Meridiani Planum, the robotic Opportunity has embarked on its longest and most dangerous trek yet, now aiming to reach large Endeavor Crater sometime next year. Endeavor, it is hoped, holds new clues to the ancient geology of Mars and whether Mars could once have harbored life.

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HellCat
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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by HellCat » Tue May 25, 2010 4:29 am

Pure coincidence, or are you prescient? A Mars news item, the same day that Phoenix is declared dead.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_ ... 151001.stm

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by bystander » Tue May 25, 2010 4:39 am

HellCat wrote:Phoenix is declared dead.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_ ... 151001.stm
JPL: Phoenix Mars Lander is Silent, New Image Shows Damage
http://asterisk.apod.com/vie ... 12#p122212

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Beyond
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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by Beyond » Tue May 25, 2010 4:39 am

As a famous Wabbit was once asked -- "Which way did he go,George - Which way did he go :?:


Alright!! Who tracked up the kitchen floor again :?: :?:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by hstarbuck » Tue May 25, 2010 6:24 am

The little robotic rover that could.

SpiritHater

Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by SpiritHater » Tue May 25, 2010 9:36 am

Haha! Spirit is such a loser.

sarahstitcher
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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by sarahstitcher » Tue May 25, 2010 10:44 am

hstarbuck wrote:The little robotic rover that could.
yes, I can't help thinking of little WALL-E in the movie, toiling away after all the others have broken down! :)

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue May 25, 2010 11:57 am

The scene almost looks like Opportunity is crossing a snow drifted terrain! This wonderful little robot; along with Spirit; brought back a ton of information about Mars. :) 8-)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by neufer » Tue May 25, 2010 12:09 pm

sarahstitcher wrote:
hstarbuck wrote:The little robotic rover that could.
yes, I can't help thinking of little WALL-E in the movie,
toiling away after all the others have broken down! :)
    • The Graduate (1967)
    Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

    Benjamin: Yes, sir.

    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

    Benjamin: Yes, I am.

    Mr. McGuire: Smectite.

    Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by Guest » Tue May 25, 2010 12:28 pm

I have a question;
Maybe it should be obvious and I understand sand debri in certain quanities being on mars or any planet from asteroid and dust collection over billions or years, but isn't that too much too have not been created through weathering? I guess what I'm asking is, isn't just the sure quanity of sand on the surface proof of once large quanities of running water?

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by gravi » Tue May 25, 2010 1:18 pm

Hello evryone
Im curious about some light spots in the image
Image

In the blue circles, are these light areas the same of the light in the pink circle? Is it some light effect reflection?
Oh, I wonder if we can see more pictures of this trail
Thanks!

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by wonderboy » Tue May 25, 2010 1:18 pm

What gets me is that this is a picture, AN ACTUAL PICTURE, from the surface of another planet which we may one day inhabit, and here we all are making jokes :(.

Its as if we have become so accustomed to technology and other such devices providing us with these remarkable images that we have grown non chalant about the whole affair.

It is truly remarkable that we can look at that picture knowing full and well its another world. Its amazing. Jokes are ok, I like them and they make me laugh, but we shouldn't forget the true awesomness of this photo. At one time in our history only a privileged few could have seen this photo, it would probably have been classified by the powers that be.


Paul
"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark" Muhammad Ali, faster than the speed of light?

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by Fil » Tue May 25, 2010 1:45 pm

I have another question:
The tracks left printed on the ground by the rover have a clearly periodic pattern.. I was expecting the tracks to be smooth and constant, as made by wheels in good condition! Does this mean there is a defect on (all) wheels :shock:, or is it an intentional effect, meant to measure distances from a photograph by knowing the perimeter of the wheels :owl: ?
Fil.

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by zbvhs » Tue May 25, 2010 1:57 pm

Seems to me we should have a rover on the Moon just to explore around and see what's there. Radiation environment would be a major issue for people proposing to live there. For a good understanding of things like that, you need a history of long term measurements. It could be done so cheaply compared to the Mars rover programs.
Virgil H. Soule

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by wonderboy » Tue May 25, 2010 4:15 pm

Fil wrote:I have another question:
The tracks left printed on the ground by the rover have a clearly periodic pattern.. I was expecting the tracks to be smooth and constant, as made by wheels in good condition! Does this mean there is a defect on (all) wheels :shock:, or is it an intentional effect, meant to measure distances from a photograph by knowing the perimeter of the wheels :owl: ?

I think it has something to do with how long radio signals take to get to mars from earth. it takes about 10-20 minutes depending on how far away earth and mars are from each other. so if they keep telling the rover to do something else every 10-20 minutes it will make the tracks look stoppy starty.


Paul
"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark" Muhammad Ali, faster than the speed of light?

DanH

Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by DanH » Tue May 25, 2010 4:32 pm

I wonder how long it will take for Opportunity's tracks to disappear?

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by neufer » Tue May 25, 2010 4:50 pm

DanH wrote:I wonder how long it will take for Opportunity's tracks to disappear?
Probably not long in a land of dust storms & dust devils.

If Spirit comes back to life it could track how its own tracks disappear.

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090601.html
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom ... 0331a.html
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by Hofi » Tue May 25, 2010 6:44 pm

Great image!

Does anyone of you know why there are interruptions of the tracks in equidistant gaps?
Best wishes,
Thomas Hofstätter

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by biddie67 » Tue May 25, 2010 7:22 pm

With total awe and admiration for those simple tracks winding across that dusty surface, I couldn't help but hear the melody from this old song floating through my mind:

Cool Water

All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water,
Cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry and souls that cry for water,
Cool, clear, water.

(Chorus:)
Keep a movin' Dan, don't you listen to him Dan, he's a devil not a man
and he spreads the burnin' sand with water.
Dan can't you see that big green tree where the water runs free
and it's waiting there for me and you

The nights are cool and I'm a fool each star’s a pool of water,
Cool water.
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn and carry on to water,
Cool, clear, water.

(Chorus)
Keep a movin' Dan, don't you listen to him Dan, he's a devil not a man
and he spreads the burnin' sand with water.
Dan can't you see that big green tree where the water runs free
and it's waiting there for me and you.
(from a Booth Brothers album)

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by owlice » Wed May 26, 2010 3:16 am

biddie, now I have that tune playing on the radio in my head!

I love this APOD; what a great picture!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by rstevenson » Wed May 26, 2010 11:18 am

... as sung by Marty Robbins.

A simpler time.

Rob

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by DavidLeodis » Wed May 26, 2010 11:31 am

It's a fascinating picture taken and transmitted from so far away. I have enough trouble getting a good digital camera image of things right in front of me! The Mars Exploration Rovers Mission is an astounding success. Shame that Spirit may have stopped (but we don't know yet for sure) and when Opportunity also ends I shall feel sad. And a word of praise for the Viking 1 mission that lasted so long on Mars and only failed due to a wrong command sent to it.

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Re: APOD: Looking Back Across Mars (2010 May 25)

Post by owlice » Wed May 26, 2010 12:15 pm

rstevenson wrote:... as sung by Marty Robbins.
Or by Opera Cowpokes.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.