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#1 2004-10-07 06:05:03

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

*The previous thread is nearing the 300-post mark.  Concern that it might collapse, so am starting this new one.

***
Asteroids named after Mars Rovers

Astronomers have named an asteroid for each of NASA's Mars rovers to commemorate the work the robots have done on the red planet since January.

The space rock catalogued as 37452 has been named Spirit. Asteroid 39382 is now called Opportunity.

Thousands more asteroids have been discovered than are named. The naming process involves a review for appropriateness by the International Astronomical Union's Committee for Small Body Nomenclature, which tries to strike a balance between being official and not getting too serious.

Many of the named asteroids commemorate cultural icons and politicians (the latter must be dead to be considered, according to the somewhat loose rules). Others are common people and places. The names run the gamut from serious to whimsical. The growing list includes Ellington and Fitzgerald, Mozart and each of the Beatles, Zappafrank, Hemingway, Freud, DiMaggio, Intel and Linux (but not Microsoft), Barbara and Jo-Ann, America and Innsbruck, Racquetball, Soyuz-Apollo and Einstein. (See if you're there)

In 2001, three asteroids were given the names Compassion, Solidarity and Magnanimity in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Seven asteroids were named for the astronauts who died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

The new Spirited space rock orbits the Sun well beyond Mars, even inching slightly beyond the path of Jupiter on its elliptical trajectory. Opportunity rocks around the Sun on a slightly tighter course that is wholly inside the path of Jupiter.

The names were announced late last month by the Minor Planet Center, which keeps track of all asteroid discoveries. The rovers, you might recall, were named by 9-year-old Sofi Collis, who submitted her choices in a contest.
***

--Cindy  :up:


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#2 2004-10-07 19:37:35

Shaun Barrett
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From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Thanks Cindy. Glad to see the MERS are receiving their more than justified recognition as probably the most successful  space probes of all time.
                                               :up:

    There's an interesting article HERE which indicates that water has altered virtually all the rocks examined by the rovers so far. The evidence points to at least some of the rocks having been wet more than once, too, and more investigations are ongoing to determine just how much water may have been involved.
    I just hope Spirit's mobility can be maintained long enough to answer some of the questions raised by all this. I don't like the sound of all this arthritis creeping into the wheels and joints etc.   sad


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#3 2004-10-08 05:17:32

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

I just hope Spirit's mobility can be maintained long enough to answer some of the questions raised by all this. I don't like the sound of all this arthritis creeping into the wheels and joints etc.   sad

*Yeah.  sad  Hopefully Oppy won't develop similar problems, what with the trek to Victoria Crater upcoming.  But Doug pointed out that Spirit's traveled 3 times farther and perhaps has done 6 times the work of Oppy so far.  As we all know of course, it's only a matter of time.

And speaking of Oppy:  New pic from October 6

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#4 2004-10-08 05:22:26

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Cue Hoagland rants about Siamese Twin Alien Heads on Mars!  big_smile


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#5 2004-10-08 05:38:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Cue Hoagland rants about Siamese Twin Alien Heads on Mars!  big_smile

*Lol!  Yeah.  While posting it I thought, "Oh, here we go; I can see the tabloid headlines now:  'Fossilized remains of 2-headed tortoise found on Mars!'"   :laugh:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#6 2004-10-09 17:55:16

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Rik:-

... rants about Siamese Twin Alien Heads on Mars!  big_smile

And Cindy:-

"Oh, here we go; I can see the tabloid headlines now: 'Fossilized remains of two-headed tortoise found on Mars!'"  :laugh:

    Just thought I'd let you guys know, I laughed out loud at that little exchange between you! Just beautiful!!   :laugh: 

    Great photo, too. Thanks for the laugh and the picture.   smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#7 2004-10-10 08:31:51

Stu
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From: Kendal, Cumbria, England
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 318
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...


Stuart Atkinson

Skywatching Blog: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/Cumbrian-Sky

Astronomical poetry, including mars rover poems: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVerse

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#8 2004-10-10 10:42:10

Stu
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From: Kendal, Cumbria, England
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 318
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Remember in those early, heady days of Opportunity's explorations of Eagle crater, how we jumped up and down when we saw what looked like a "spherule" on the end of a stalk..?

Well... take a look at this rock Oppie is currently studying in Endurance Crater... look at how many stalks there are protruding from the left hand side there...

http://www.lyle.org/mars/imagery/color/ … 6561-7.jpg

???


Stuart Atkinson

Skywatching Blog: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/Cumbrian-Sky

Astronomical poetry, including mars rover poems: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVerse

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#9 2004-10-10 11:08:39

Stu
Member
From: Kendal, Cumbria, England
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 318
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

...and finally...

Say "hi" to a new, classic, Mars photo. BIG file, so looooong download, but well worth it, trust me...

http://themis.asu.edu/fullimages/20041008A.jpg

Imagine that at full resolution, in 3D...


Stuart Atkinson

Skywatching Blog: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/Cumbrian-Sky

Astronomical poetry, including mars rover poems: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVerse

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#10 2004-10-11 02:22:57

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Not sure this has been posted already...

"Mars Dead or Alive," the great documentary, is available online!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mars/program.html

And.... Nova is working on a follow-up, airing januari 4, 2005!

(Edit:) AAAAARGH! :rant:  :rant: Only available in the US, sigh...


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#11 2004-10-11 02:30:30

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

BIG file, so looooong download, but well worth it, trust me...
Imagine that at full resolution, in 3D...

6.7Mb, took me about half a minute to download tongue  Yup, Belgium has a good cable-network, heehee...

I got an old laser-printer for free from a friend, just yesterday... I guess I'm going to 'posterize' this beauty and print it out, make it real big, yay!

Thanks, Stu.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#12 2004-10-11 06:05:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Does either of the rovers carry any siezmic instruments to detect quakes... or could some combination of them be used to do so?

Could this also answer the Methane and amonia as signs of life question..or is mars not a sleep but is awakening from a long slumber.

Marsquakes: Red Planet May Still Rumble

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/m … 41011.html

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#13 2004-10-11 07:05:31

djellison
Member
From: Leicester,UK
Registered: 2004-08-31
Posts: 113

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Nope - no seismic equipment on board them at all - and they have no means to detect methane either.

Doug

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#14 2004-10-11 11:12:31

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Spirit panorama of Columbia Hills  :up:

*Wow.  smile 

Didn't see this posted previously.

--Cindy

P.S.:  I like to imagine the head-on darker portion of the sky is a thunderstorm brewing.  Can almost see white lightning slashing across that gray and butterscotch sky.   :;):


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#15 2004-10-15 06:12:38

REB
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From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#16 2004-10-15 06:24:14

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

*Lol!  Time for a mind-meld, Mr. Spock!  (And watch that you don't burn your fingers this time, okay?).  :laugh:

To me it looks like a huge fossilized brain...sort of.  The fringe goofballs will probably go bananas with this image too. 

By the way, that Star Trek episode was one of my favorites.  I felt sorry for the poor little Horta. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#17 2004-10-15 17:17:59

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

That rock seems to have hundreds of the little blueberries 'growing' all over it.
    I thought the blueberries were supposed to be concretions which form in layers of water soaked rock. This rock looks like it formed without blueberries and they just 'grew' all over it later.
    I guess I just don't have a very good grasp of exactly how blueberries form.
                                    ???


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#18 2004-10-15 17:30:43

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

By the way, I really liked that "Horta" episode of Star Trek, too.
    I was particularly taken with the idea of "Bones" patching up Mother Horta's phaser wound with a trowel and cement!  big_smile

    Dr. McCoy was amazed at himself for turning his hand to healing a creature whose cells were based on one of the chief ingredients in sand!
    Still, I suppose the Hippocratic Oath doesn't differentiate between carbon-based and silicon-based life, so "Bones" was bound to do his best to alleviate suffering - even in a creature with a molecular structure closer to that of a house-brick than a human.
                                            tongue    :laugh:


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#19 2004-10-16 05:32:33

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

That rock is apparently named "Wopmay"

*Article also includes a lengthy run-down of what all Oppy's been up to.  Wonder why named "Wopmay"?  :hm:

--Cindy

Shaun:  By the way, I really liked that "Horta" episode of Star Trek, too.
   I was particularly taken with the idea of "Bones" patching up Mother Horta's phaser wound with a trowel and cement!

*Yeah.  "I'm a physician, dammit!  Not a bricklayer!"  But Dr. McCoy came to the rescue anyway.  As we knew the good doctor would.  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#20 2004-10-16 08:25:38

Stu
Member
From: Kendal, Cumbria, England
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 318
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...


Stuart Atkinson

Skywatching Blog: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/Cumbrian-Sky

Astronomical poetry, including mars rover poems: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVerse

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#21 2004-10-16 08:52:03

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

*I liked the "putting a coin in the parking meter" and meeting C3PO the best.  :laugh:  I think REB might like the 3rd image.   :;):

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#22 2004-10-18 09:30:45

REB
Member
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Yep, Cindy, I knew there are Sand Worms on Mars smile


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#23 2004-10-19 08:55:17

REB
Member
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Mars Dunes

    The Fremen have the word of Muad'dib.
    They will have their Holy War to cleanse
    the Universe... they will have Arrakis...
    Dune... their planet.  There will be
    flowing water here open to the sky and
    rich green oases.  For the spice there
    will always be some desert.  There will be
    fierce winds and trials to toughen men.
    We Fremen have a saying...
"God created Arrakis to train the
    faithful."
    One cannot go against the word of God.

             Paul Atreides


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#24 2004-10-19 10:45:47

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Spirit update

*It's investigating "Tetl."  More talk about that "sticky right front wheel," yet Spirit has been able to move another 6.6 feet.  Basically it seems now you've got to visit the JPL site itself; not so many updates anymore on the MERs, even at the major astronomy/SE web sites.

Next is a 66-foot drive to "Machu Picchu."  Good luck.

It's weird to read Spirit has "only" driven 2.3 miles since rolling off its lander.  :-\  Don't know why I always want to think of miles and miles and miles...  :laugh:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#25 2004-10-21 19:49:51

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

*Oh good grief...it's too late in the evening to try and summarize what I've just read in my own words (after 3 bumbling tries I give up) so I'll resort to copy and paste [ roll ]:

"Since early September, the amount of electricity from Opportunity's solar panels has increased markedly and unexpectedly, to more than 700 watt-hours per day, a level not seen since the first 10 weeks of the mission.

'The team is evaluating ways to determine which of a few different theories is the best explanation.'

Possible explanations under consideration include the action of wind removing some dust from the solar panels or the action of frost causing dust to clump. 'We seem to have had several substantial cleanings of the solar panels,'  Erickson said."

Here's the article; quote above.

Spirit drove 12 feet on October 17.  Still with the steering problems.  Says Spirit faces critical technical problems which are likely the beginning of the end.  (Keep fighting until the bitter end, Spirit!)

A picture of "Tetl"  If grinding and examination of it isn't possible (within Spirit's reach), they're going for a rock called "Coba" apparently.

***
Not related to the MERs, but thought I'd stick this here for want of a better thread and not wishing to start a new one just for it:

(a bit reluctantly, as it might seem "kiddie stuff"): 

Comparisons

I found it on Google during a completely unrelated search.  Go figure.  :hm:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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