Astronomy Picture of the Day: Curiosity’s View

Going by Earth timescales, The Mars Rover Curiosity reached its 3 year anniversary on August the 6th, 2015. To celebrate this achievement, today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a typical shot from Curiosity of the layered slopes of Aeolis Mons, also known as Mount Sharp, featuring the diverse terrain typical of Curiosity’s adventures and exploration of the Red planet.

The thing that captivates me most is that Mars can be anywhere between 54.6 million and 401 million kilometres away from earth, depending on where we are in our respective orbits, an unfathomable distance away, but looking at this photo it looks like it could have been taken in any desert region of our own planet!

What may look like a dull image on first inspection takes on a whole new meaning when you consider not only how far away it is, but also how much time, effort and money it has taken to get us to the point where we can send a car sized 2 ton robot to a planet that averages a distance of a quarter of a Billion kilometres away, safely and with enough engineering to not only traverse and explore this alien world, but send images back to us whilst also undertaking scientific experiments that are constantly expanding our understanding of our closest celestial sibling!

Magical.


 

Image Credit: NASAJPL-CaltechMSSS Via APOD

Iain Buchanan

If you like your geeks to be humongous, real ale drinking, meat inhaling, obscure, surreal pogonophobes, then you my friend have come to the right blog. That's right, you read that correctly, I don't like beards. There are many things I do like, however, such as Playstation, Apple, Cribbage and pickled eggs. My first computer was an Acorn Electron, my first phone was a Motorola M3788, we backed the Betamax and my first regeneration was Baker to Davison. I love films, all films, but get a full geek-on for comic book & sci-fi movies and TV shows in particular. I adore Science and Space but most of all I love the sound of my own voice, so do please forgive me if I waffle.