Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mars: "Opportunity" and the mysterious Mars Stone - Frankfurter Rundschau

22 January 2014

Before (left): No stone far and wide. After (right): On the recording that was made 13 days later, a stone is to be seen. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell University / Arizona State Univ


For nearly 10 years, the Mars rover “Opportunity” on the red planet on the go. Now provides a recording that the rover has sent to Earth for interest: On it is a stone to see who was not yet 13 days previously there. How did he get here?

Red, stony soil and red sand, which is mostly seen in the pictures, sent by the Mars rover “Opportunity” to Earth. Seen in the picture, the “Opportunity” is different on 8 January 2014 has made from its surroundings, not by others. However, on the recording is something that the attentive observer that perplexes: A bright, almost white stone, can be seen on the red ground. But on an image that exactly the same place was taken by the end of December “Opportunity” on the stone was not to be seen.

goods there are Martians, the photos a fake, no rover on Mars go? Far from it. Nasa the sudden appearance of the stone can be explained quite differently: Between the two recordings were 13 days, in which the rover has moved a piece on the spot. He had used the stone, which the scientists have missed the name “Pinnacle Iceland” and is about the size of a donut, has probably encountered the wheel to his current position.

“Opportunity” is to examine the stone

Much of the stone was light, some deep red. The stone was possibly reversed, as a wheel of the Mars rover was pushed against him, suspect, NASA researchers and grab the opportunity with both hands: “Opportunity” (Eng. “opportunity”) could take advantage of the unusual circumstances, the bottom to investigate a Mars-stone, shares the Nasa with.

The rover “Opportunity” is for almost ten years on Mars. In July 2003, the probe launched to explore the red planet, where, on 25 January 2004 at the “Eagle Crater” landed. The sister probe “Spirit”, which landed on Mars in early January in 2004, since March 2010, no longer accessible, in May 2011, the mission was abandoned. “Opportunity” on the other hand is still active on Mars – originally the mission of the two probe was designed for three months


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