We’re putting the final touches on our show with Natalie Batalha, a research astronomer and mission scientist with NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. What is she searching for? Exoplanets: terrestrial planets with liquid water approximately the size of Earth that exist outside of our solar system.
But, we may not have to look that far. NASA’s Curiosity Rover transmitted back this incredible panorama (well, actually stitched-together images) of the Mars surface. Adam Mann reports on Wired:
Nevertheless, it’s edifying to know that parallel efforts are taking place to discover more about the strata of deep time and our place in this sacred universe.
NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity captured this image looking eastward over the Endeavour Crater late in the afternoon of Opportunity’s 2,888th Martian sol (day) which corresponded with March 9, 2012 here on Earth. In the foreground, Opportunity’s own shadow appears, in a sort of one-step-removed self-portrait. […] The image is a mosaic of about a dozen images and presented in false color to draw out certain features of the topography.
Apropos to our upcoming show with deep sea explorer Sylvia Earle, who reminds us that we ought to explore the depths of our oceans and selves as much as we do outer space. She’s right; nevertheless, this is marvelous.
It seems like the viability-of-life-on-Mars story resurfaces every few years with renewed enthusiasm. And how can it not be stimulating to think about foreign biological possibilities existing in other pockets of the universe?
From Discovery News:
With higher pressures and warmer temperatures beneath the Martian surface, Earth-like microorganisms could thrive.
~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
At lectures there are always some who raise their hands. But I think it’s unethical to send young people, since there are serious health risks. You need highly trained scientists with a life expectancy of less than 20 years.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor