Wednesday, March 05, 2014

On Mars On Mars On Mars


One of the lovely things about NASA is that you can poke around the raw images taken by their robot explorers. The image above was taken by the mastcam of the Curiosity Mars rover on the February 23rd. It shows layered rocks weathering out amongst flows of sand in the foreground, the long arc of a ridge with low hills beyond, and in the background, hazed by the dusty atmosphere, the flank of Mt. Sharp, Curiosity's ultimate destination (the original is here - click to embiggen).  It's a composition as beautiful as a Chesley Bonestell painting, lacking only a couple of astronauts hunting for fossils in some long-dry stream bed. You want to walk out into it, kicking rocks as you go.

5 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Absolutely beautiful. How lucky we are!

March 05, 2014 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Morineau said...

I agree with Brian. How lucky we are, indeed!

Being able to see the rocks we would be kicking as we walked inside one of Mars' multiple craters, thanks to the spectacular images that are available to us, is just fantastic.

We live in privileged times, where the "future" seems more today than yesterday, everyday!

Doesn't it?

March 07, 2014 1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Can you let me know the titles of your Jackaroo stories. Found the one in Arc to be very moving... Thank you for The Quiet War - as an agronomist it is my favourite SF for years.

March 18, 2014 9:43 PM  
Anonymous greg_coyote said...

Is the title of this post a reference to the final sentence in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy?

When we finally get there, I fully expect to find Stan living in a little cottage on Mt Sharp already.

April 16, 2014 4:20 PM  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Hi Greg,

Well spotted - a tiny tribute.

April 18, 2014 5:21 PM  

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