Showing posts from February, 2021

Martian rover sends back ‘overwhelming’ video, audio from the Red Planet Source:    By   Catherine Matacic , Science Magazine.  Excerpt: Just four martian days after   touching down on the Red Planet , NASA’s Perseverance rover has sent back its first video of its new home: a 1-minute arabesque of color and motion captured from four on-board cameras, as the car-size rover dangles from its rocket-propelled descent vehicle, a red-and-white parachute snaps into place, and the pitted surface of Mars comes slowly into view, dark canyons giving way to ripples of dust that look like giant, rust-colored dunes (see video, above). But perhaps even more thrilling, an unexpected gift arrived along with the video and the   thousands of new images   that were downloaded over the weekend: the   first sound recording   taken from the surface of Mars....  See also   Perseverance’s ‘sky crane’ captures Mars descent .

‘Touchdown confirmed!’ Perseverance landing marks new dawn for Mars science Source:    By   Paul Voosen , Science Magazine.  Excerpt: It’s a new day on Mars. NASA’s $2.7 billion Perseverance rover has successfully landed in Jezero crater, alighting just 35 meters away from hazardous boulders it had identified during descent. At about 3:55 p.m. EST, confirmation came back of the rover safely touching its wheels down, resulting in exuberant but socially distanced applause from double-masked engineers at the mission’s control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)....   See also   Perseverance’s ‘sky crane’ captures Mars descent ; and New York Times article   Perseverance’s Pictures From Mars Show NASA Rover’s New Home .

Martian New Year on Sunday a second chance to start fresh, Earthling Source:  By Chris Knight, The Telegram.  Excerpt: ...Feb. 7 [2021] marks the beginning of [Martian] year 36. Back at the turn of the (Earth) century ...scientists decided they needed a way to count Martian years. Earth years wouldn’t do, since Mars takes 687 days to circle the sun. They picked the Martian spring equinox of 1955 as the start of year one. ...Mars, like Earth, has an elliptical orbit that brings it closer to the sun at certain points of the year. It also has an axial tilt of 25 degrees. (Earth’s is just over 23.) Together this creates seasons, with variations in temperature, sunlight and even air pressure, since some of the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere freezes at the poles in the winter. ...the overlap of tilt and orbit means northern Martian winters are significantly milder than in the south, with repercussions on any rovers operating in th