Mars Far and Wide

Oh, JPL . . . will you stop teasing me with all this Mars stuff?

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is the most recent image of our lovely red neighbour, released by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The workhorse rover Opportunity which has been at it since January 2004 (and has lasted well past the 90 days it was supposed to) took the images between the 2,811th Martian day (called Sol) of the rover’s surface mission and the 2,947th Sol (Earth days December 21, 2011 and May 8, 2012). North is the centre of the image, and south is at both ends.

It’s cool that you can see the tracks Opportunity left (looks a little like a drunk was behind the wheel) and also the dust that has been left on the rover’s panels.

I always love these images that the JPL releases. It’s just awesome (yes, I use that word a lot, but in this case, it really does apply) that we can see a whole new world. I always stop to think what people like Galileo or Percival Lowell or writers like Jules Verne would think if they could just jump through time (and not be dead and all that) and see what they could only imagine, right there before their eyes. I just hope that, within my lifetime, I will see a human being standing on the surface, maybe right there in Greeley’s Haven.


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