Mars Hub

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


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."


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


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?


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)

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


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'."


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Scientists Spot Metallic Object as Curiosity Probe Takes First Scoopful of Mars: VIDEO


Meanwhile on Mars...

Scientists have spotted something metallic on the Martian surface and aren't sure what it is but think it may be a piece of hardware that fell off the rover itself. The object (A screw, perhaps?) was spotted after the Curiosity rover took its first soil scoop of the red planet.

Another time-lapse video shows how the rover vibrates the soil:

The clip includes 256 frames from Curiosity's Mast Camera, taken at about eight frames per second, plus interpolated frames to run at actual speed in this 32-frames-per-second version. The scoop was vibrated to discard any overfill. Churning due to vibration also serves to show physical characteristics of the collected material, such as an absence of pebbles. The scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide, 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long.


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The Best Mars Landing Video of All Time? - VIDEO


Those of you who have been fascinated by the arrival in August of the Curiosity probe to the surface of Mars, have likely seen something like this video before, but you have never seen it like this.

Producer Bard Canning spent four weeks enhancing it:

Ultra-resolution, smooth-motion, detail-enhanced, color-corrected, interpolated from the original 4 frames per second to 30 frames per second. This video plays real-time at the speed that Curiosity descended to the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

And the original is here.

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