Click for full image.
Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken today by Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), a camera designed to get close high resolution images of very small features on the surface.
The Curiosity image site does not provide a scale, but MAHLI, located at the end of the rover’s robot arm, is capable of resolutions as small as 14 microns per pixel. Since a micron is one thousandth of a millimeter, and the original image was 1584 by 1184 pixels in size, that means the entire image is likely only slightly larger than 18 to 25 millimeters across, or slightly less than an inch.
This feature, which closely resembles a cave helictite, is thus about a quarter inch in size. Helictites, which in caves often resemble wildly growing roots, are nonetheless made of calcite, not organic material. They grow wildly because the water is being pushed out from their center is under pressure, so that as it drips away from the formation it leaves its calcite deposits randomly, causing the formation to grow randomly.
MAHLI also took what looks to be an infrared or heat image of the formation, which appears to show that the tips of the branches are at a different temperature, I think cooler, than the rest of the formation.
While seeping water causes helictites on Earth, what formed this thing on Mars is beyond my guess. It sure looks cool however.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.