Thursday, July 17, 2008

Photos From Mars, WOW!

There's nothing like mind-expanding stories about other worlds to help put our own little problems into perspective. Of course what we each do here on Earth is having a huge impact on the planet, but maybe seeing images of what may have been a lush, thriving world in the past will sober enough humans up that we change our behavior. We can always hope.

Photo from Reuters

The pictures were captured by the European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe - a spacecraft the size of a large fridge-freezer that has been circling Mars since Christmas 2003....Over the last five years its stereo, high resolution camera has taken thousands of images of the surface, revealing the planet's awe inspiring beauty in unprecedented detail.

Photo from Reuters

The latest images show the Echus Chasma, a vast valley just north of Mars equator around 62 miles long and six miles wide. The feature is cut into a high plateau and its steep-sided cliffs - some 12,000 feet high - bear a striking resemblance to the canyons of North America.

Photo from Reuters

The images were created by combining pictures taken from different orbits. The images can be viewed from different angles in three dimensions

Mars Express launched in June 2003. The craft is a cube around 5ft by 6ft by 5ft with two 60ft long radar antennae. It is photographing the entire surface of Mars in high resolution, producing a detailed colour map of the minerals on the surface, mapping the atmosphere and probing beneath the surface using radar.
Still it's quite incredible to see this images. The second one really resembles the cliffs of several Earth coastlines, and/or the Grand Canyon. Kudos to the European Space Agency for getting this incredible imagery and for sharing it opening with the world!

Read the full article HERE.



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