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Martian Spheres Puzzle Experts

The discovery of a collection of strange spherical objects on Mars has caused a stir over at NASA.

Despite all the fuss made over the Curiosity rover in recent months, the discovery has actually come from earlier rover Opportunity.  

The strange spheres resemble earlier objects – the ‘blueberries’ – which were discovered to be rich in hematite.

Yet these new discoveries are fundamentally different.

Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca stated:

[quote]This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission. They are different in concentration. They are different in structure. They are different in composition. They are different in distribution. So, we have a wonderful geological puzzle in front of us. We have multiple working hypotheses, and we have no favorite hypothesis at this time. It’s going to take a while to work this out, so the thing to do now is keep an open mind and let the rocks do the talking.[/quote]

More as NASA discover it.

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Curiosity Descent in HD

A high-definition video, created from picture stills as Curiosity made its descent towards Mars, has been released on YouTube.

As one of the top commenters stated, for some reason, you expect there to be sound!

Even without it, it’s quite a ride.

Here’s Entrepreneur’s handy guide to understanding what’s going on in the video!

Before video starts – parachute deploys

0:00 - Heat shield separation

0:21 - Heat shield impacts surface (bottom left)

0:25 - Parachute separation, rocket-powered descent

0:34 - Rocket hover, wheels deploy, begin skycrane descent

0:40 - Touchdown

Rock

Curiosity fired its frickin’ lazer beam

The BBC reported late last night that the Curiosity rover has successfully fired it’s lazer beam as a test to see if the instrument was working.

It’s target was a small stone roughly 2 meters away from the rover pictured below:

The BBC has outlined what happened

ChemCam zapped it with 30 pulses of infrared light during a 10-second period.

Each pulse delivered to a tiny spot more than a million watts of power for about five billionths of a second.

The instrument observed the resulting spark through a telescope; the component colours would have told scientists which atomic elements were present.

Curiosity should start moving towards Mount Sharp very soon.

Keep Daring Mighty Things

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New Video and Images from Curiosity

I have been following the Mars rover Curiosity since launch last year, I watched the successful landing yesterday and now I am in amazement of some of the images and video that has been sent back to earth here from the rover. They have been included in a gallery below.

 

A couple of higher resolutions images have been posted up showing Mount Sharp on the horizon.

A video of the descent has also been posted online, you can clearly see the heat shield come off the capsule at the start of the video.

Keep daring mighty things!

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Clip of the week – Jeff Wayne: War of the Worlds

Mars has been a popular topic this past week, so I thought an appropriate clip of the week would be the soundtrack to War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne. It is embedded below, get listening!

The chances of anything coming from Mars
Are a million to one, he said (ahh, ahh)
The chances of anything coming from Mars
Are a million to one, but still, they come…