Friday, January 08, 2021

Wealth of New Images of the Valles Marinaris on Planet Mars

The planet's famous red colour
is from iron oxide coating everything.
So it's not a just a desert.
It's a desert so old 
it's literally rusting.
Andy Weir, The Martian

On January 7, NASA released new images of the Valles Marinaris on Mars. The images are stunning and can be accessed in a web link I found online here. Be sure to watch the animation contained with the 3rd graphic! It is a flyby around the canyon and is spectacular. Also, be sure to use this link to a University of Arizona page where other images can be seen.

Valles Marineris shown at an angle of 45 degrees to the surface in near-true color and with four times vertical exaggeration. A larger image can be had from the link in the paragraph above. The image covers an area of over 243,000 sq. miles with a ground resolution of about 300 feet per pixel.The largest portion of the canyon, which spans right across the image, is known as Melas Chasma. Candor Chasma is the connecting trough immediately to the north, with the small trough Ophir Chasma beyond. Hebes Chasma can be seen in the far top left of the image. This image was first published in 2009 in the European Space Agency  science monograph Mars Express: The Scientific Investigations.

What a time to be alive! Earthly space ships orbiting other planets with high resolution photographs!

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Fantastic Video and Images from the Current Eruption at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i

The Kilauea volcano has entered its second week of the current eruptive activity. A lava lake has developed on the floor of the crater and is evolving rapidly. This 3:45 video from Big Island Video News and the USGS has fantastic footage of crustal rafting, doming, and other processes that are common in these type of eruptions. There are also thermal images included. Watch the video here