Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Door 17 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

17-12-2010 10:16 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, Spirit, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

Time to open the seventeenth door in the advent calendar. Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these strange promontories?

Door 17

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell / USGS

Door 17
The image covers an area three centimeters square.

Spacecraft cover great distances in open space to reach the planets and moons and smaller things that they explore. Yet the vast majority of them still stand quite far away from their targets, in human terms anyway, when they take their pictures, usually at least a few hundred kilometers away and often much farther. Landers like the Mars Exploration Rovers are so special because they actually bring us to places on other planets with human-scale objects and distances, and sometimes even closer. Spirit's microscopic imager, which works like a geologist's hand lens to magnify rocks and soil, captured this view on sol 162 (June 17, 2004), just after the rover reached the base of the Columbia Hills. Eons of weathering in Gusev crater's sandblasting winds have left small nuggets of material standing on the tips of thin rocky stalks above Pot of Gold's surface. The rock proved to contain hematite, the first indication of that material at Spirit's landing site.

The Planetary Society Blog 2010 Advent Calendar

 
See other posts from December 2010

 

Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, Spirit, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!