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04/19/2007


NASA Throws Cold Water on Photo That Inspired Batty Theory About Underground Martians

Mars

Like the Tusken Raider-shaped rock, the 'alien skull', the 'metallic object', the 'jelly doughnut', the famous 'face', and of course, the martian canals that came before it, a photograph this week which appeared to show a column of light shooting up from the red planet gave hope to conspiracy theorists everywhere that a secret Martian civilization was living just beneath the planet's surface:

Scott C. Waring, who maintains the website UFO Sightings Daily, posted the photo April 6.

Waring noted that the light shines upward, as if from the ground, and is very flat across the bottom.

"This could indicate there there is intelligent life below the ground and uses light as we do," Waring wrote on his website. "This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process."

Alas, the photo shows a very common artifact, NASA says:

The rover took the image just after arriving at a waypoint called "the Kimberley." The bright spot appears on a horizon, in the same west-northwest direction from the rover as the afternoon sun.

"In the thousands of images we've received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week," said Justin Maki of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., leader of the team that built and operates the Navigation Camera. "These can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations."

If the bright spots in the April 2 and April 3 images are from a glinting rock, the directions of the spots from the rover suggest the rock could be on a ridge about 175 yards (160 meters) from the rover's April 3 location.


More Than 78,000 Sign Up for One-Way Trip to Mars: VIDEO

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A Netherlands-based non-profit called Mars One has begun taking applications for pioneering Mars colonists it plans to finance “by staging a global reality-TV event, with cameras documenting all phases of the mission from astronaut selection to the colonists’ first years on the Red Planet.”

Via The Space Reporter: Marsone

So far, plenty of people are interested in this job offer. As of a few days ago, the number was already at 78,000 applicants.

The application period opened on April 22, 2013, and continues until August 31. It’s actually fairly easy to apply: You have to be at least 18 years of age, and you must also submit a one-minute video to Mars One that explains your motivation for becoming a Martian settler. And anybody in the world can apply. Also, you can watch all of the applicants’ videos on Mars Ones’ website.

“With [that many] applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history,” Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. “These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”

Watch two introductory videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "More Than 78,000 Sign Up for One-Way Trip to Mars: VIDEO" »


Stephen Colbert on NASA's Lewd Conduct on Mars: VIDEO

Mars_colbert

Stephen Colbert salutes the Mars rover's recent lewd conduct on the red planet:

"This is one small step for man, one giant doodle of manjunk. This giant graffiti peenie proves our galactic supremacy. America took a pristine planet 140 million miles away and scribbled on it like it was the face of a passed-out fratboy....It officially makes the space between Mars and Uranus our solar system's taint."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Stephen Colbert on NASA's Lewd Conduct on Mars: VIDEO" »


NASA's Mars Rovers Draw Naughty Images on Surface of Planet: PHOTO

Rover

NASA servers went down last night after Reddit users discovered that the Mars Rovers have been drawing naughty images on the surface of the red planet.

It is a genuine image.


A Once or Future (Living) Mars?

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Was Mars once very Earth-like?

Software engineer Kevin Gill used topographical data to imagine what it might have been like.

A two dimensional digital elevation model was first rendered in jDem846 (an open-source learning project of mine) using the MRO MOLA 128 pix/deg elevation dataset. In that model, I picked a sea level and scripted it such that terrain at or below that level was flat and blue.

The resulting model was then brought into GIMP were I painted in land features using a NASA Blue Marble Next Generation image for the source textures.  There is no scientific reasoning behind how I painted it; I tried to envision how the land would appear given certain features or the effects of likely atmospheric climate. For example, I didn’t see much green taking hold within the area of Olympus Mons and the surrounding volcanoes, both due to the volcanic activity and the proximity to the equator (thus a more tropical climate). For these desert-like areas I mostly used textures taken from the Sahara in Africa and some of Australia. Likewise, as the terrain gets higher or lower in latitude I added darker flora along with tundra and glacial ice. These northern and southern areas textures are largely taken from around northern Russia. Tropical and subtropical greens were based on the rainforests of South America and Africa.

The shot above is Mars' eastern hemisphere. Check out the western one, AFTER THE JUMP...

(Kevin Gill Google+ via The Atlantic)

Continue reading "A Once or Future (Living) Mars?" »


Stephen Colbert Investigates Claims That Obama is a Gay Martian: VIDEO

Gaymartian

A Colbert Report investigative report has uncovered the truth behind recent conspiracy theories. Yes, Obama is a gay Martian:

"Yes, Mars, a planet named for the most fabulous of the Gods. And one that the gays have been singing about openly for years. Which explains why NASA named the Mars Rover, 'Curiosity'."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Investigates Claims That Obama is a Gay Martian: VIDEO" »


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