Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Running an observatory on another planet

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has cameras that can observe the heavens from the surface of Mars. See the enthusiasm of planetary scientist Jim Bell of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., lead scientist for the panoramic cameras on Spirit and Opportunity, "It is incredibly cool to be running an observatory on another planet."

Here is a movie of both of Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos streaming across the Martian sky with the constellation Sagittarius in the background. Phobos is the brighter one.

Here is an image of the Earth from Mars, this is something you definitely can't do from earth's surface. I wonder what mythology the Martians spawned with two morning stars (Venus and Earth).

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