Meanwhile, back on Mars

Our latest header shows a high-resolution view of Mount Sharp on Mars.

Here’s more information. And here’s what’s most interesting about the mountain:

From earlier orbital imagery, the layers appear to contain clays and other hydrated minerals that form in the presence of water, Nasa has said.

Previous missions to Mars have uncovered strong evidence for vast amounts of water flowing over its surface in the past. Curiosity was dispatched to hunt for organic materials and other chemistry considered necessary for life to evolve.

In this picture, the layers above where scientists expect to find hydrated minerals show sharp tilts, offering a strong hint of dramatic changes in Gale Crater, which is located in the planet’s southern hemisphere near its equator.

Meanwhile, back on Mars

I’ve temporarily replaced Mars with Fenway Park in my header, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost interest in Mars!  Here’s a video of the descent:

This comes via Jerry Coyne, who has more detail.

And here is Sarcastic Rover, whose Twitter feed is pretty funny.  If I knew how to show tweets in a blog, I would do so.  Anyway, here’s a sample:

Hey NASA? If I find life, am I supposed to kill it, or be friends with it? If the answer isn’t kill, then forget I said anything.

It’s probably funnier as a tweet.


Here’s the NASA caption for my new header:

This image shows one of the first views from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (early morning hours Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a “fisheye” wide-angle lens on one of the rover’s Hazard-Avoidance cameras. These engineering cameras are located at the rover’s base. As planned, the early images are lower resolution. Larger color images are expected later in the week when the rover’s mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is one spectacular achievement.  We’ll go to color when Curiosity does.