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Archive for January, 2013
This is a raw image of the storm found at the center of Saturn’s hexagonal feature located at it’s northern pole (see below). Be sure to click on it for the high-res.
The image is going to be “officially released” soon, but I don’t know how much better it can get than this. One of the exciting things about this storm is the depth that we are allowed to see into Saturn. There is no other feature on Saturn that allows us to see any further than the cloud tops.
Before intentionally crashing the GRAIL spacecraft into the surface of the Moon, they took this long series of images and compiled them into this video. It contains two views of the craft as it sailed 10 kilometers above the surface. The split comes about halfway through from a forward facing view to one from behind.
Back in 2007 I posted this image of a dark hole on Mars. In late 2011 they took additional images of a similar feature with the HiRISE cameras on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Turns out it is in fact a “sky light” or a hole in the surface to an underground cavern. This one spans 35 meters (115 feet) across and 20 meters (65 feet) deep.
It’s origins are likely due to ancient lava flows that continued underground and eventually were drained to leave behind a cavern. How vast such a system might be is yet unknown.
The background hills are not just all… the whole “sky” in the back is actually the Gale crater rim. Wish there was an additional image taken above to stitch together for the full dramatic view.
I have a whole lot of catching up to do with Curiosity. I was locked out of the site for months and only got back in after the landing. So I missed much of the buzz and excitement of the first few days. We got spoiled from the everyday images from Spirit and Opportunity and sometimes the images from Curiosity will often feel like more of the same, but I don’t recall any images from the previous landers looking like a Chesley Bonestell painting.