Saturday, September 17, 2005

Views Of Space From Beyond Earth's Orbit.

The coolest space images are of scenes we can't see from Earth. One of my favorites is this back view of Saturn taken by Viking 1 in 1980. (Story here.) (Photo credit: NASA.)
Another favorite of mine is the view of Earth from the Mars Global Surveyor in orbit around Mars. (Story here.) (Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems.)
Two new favorites are these time lapse photos of the moons of Mars taken by the Spirit rover. (Story here.)












(Photo credits: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M.)
I've never been able to visualize in my mind what Phobos and Deimos look like in the Martian sky. These pictures really help in understanding how the moons of Mars look in the sky. Deimos looks almost like a distant planet while Phobos looks like what it probably is, an asteroid trapped in Martian orbit.

Meanwhile, back on Earth we see the familiar sky above us as we wait for Monday's announcement of NASA's architecture for sending humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. And as we wait we wonder how long it will be until humans see these vistas with their own eyes. Not soon enough.

-tdr

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