Taken by Opportunity. It is false color, attempting to mimic light on earth. Panorama composited of 800+ photos and released July 2012.
NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars in a daredevil maneuver that used a rocket-powered sky crane to lower the 1-ton robot safely to the Martian surface after plunging through the planet’s atmosphere. Never before had the maneuver been attempted and, by all accounts, it was a spectacular success.
This scene recorded from the mast-mounted color camera includes the rover’s own solar arrays and deck in the foreground, providing a sense of sitting on top of the rover and taking in the view. Its release this week coincides with two milestones: Opportunity completing its 3,000th Martian day on July 2, and NASA continuing past 15 years of robotic presence at Mars. Mars Pathfinder landed July 4, 1997. NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor orbiter reached the planet while Pathfinder was still active, and Global Surveyor overlapped the active missions of the Mars Odyssey orbiter and Opportunity, both still in service.
You’ll forgive Aboriginal people for not jumping over the moon today at the Transit of Venus. One of the last times the ‘Evening Star’ got between the Earth and Sun, it was used as the pretext for invasion.
Ever a suspicious lot, the British had long wanted to claim the ‘Great Southern Land’ for themselves, which they were sure existed thanks to the hard work of explorers from other countries. But they didn’t want to tip off other countries to what they were doing.
So they bought themselves a small ship, did it up a bit, renamed it The Endeavour, then hired a non-descript but intelligent junior naval officer named James Cook.
Rather than instructions to go forth and expand the glorious Empire, he and 93 others set sail with orders to view the Transit of Venus.
Cook and his crew duly headed for Tahiti, viewed the Transit and then opened their sealed second orders.
They were to head south, to find ‘Terra Australis’.
And find it they did, although of course it had already been ‘discovered’ some 60,000 years earlier, and was inhabited by hundreds of nations of Aboriginal people.
The rest, as they say, is history, black armband view or otherwise.
Venus, in transit
Aurora Australis, accompanied by star streaks and air glow, is pictured in this view recorded by one of the Expedition 31 crew members when the orbital outpost was above a point on Earth located at approximately 49.5 degrees south latitude and 173.9 east longitude or about 290 miles southeast of southern New Zealand. Two Russian spacecraft, docked to the station, are seen in the foreground.