Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Insane Actual Pictures of Mars

First of all, this:

That's MARS, yo! The PLANET. That is a picture of the PLANET MARS, taken by what I can only assume is a telescope the size of a yacht (actually, it's the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). What exactly are we looking at here, besides Mars? Please visit the blog Bad Astronomy to get some answers, including one to my first question, which was "What are those weird tendril thingies" and OMG ARE THEY THE BONES OF DEAD MARTIANS?

"In the Martian winter, carbon dioxide freezes out of the air. In the summer, that CO2 sublimates; that is, turns directly from a solid to a gas. When that happens the sand gets disturbed, and falls down the slopes in little channels, which spreads out when it hits the bottom. This disturbs the red dust, too, which flows with the sand. When it’s all done, you get those feathery tendrils."

Who knew all this stuff was happening on Mars? They have little Mars dust avalanches!

Do you want to see even more ridiculous pictures of Mars OH YOU DO OK HERE:

(bummer alert, the site says they are in "false color" which I think means "Photoshopped")

Mars, people! Get used to it! I'm glad we'll have somewhere to go in our space arks after 2012.

Also the commentors on this post have somehow managed to get into a vicious debate about religion, science, and the existence of God, so feel free to delve into that if you wish. Mars is so controversial!

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