Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rovers Get Ready For Martian Winter


NASA is moving Spirit Rover to a sunnier place to prepare for the upcoming Martian winter. They have found a nice sun facing slope to park the little rover. Opportunity on the other hand is closer to the equator so they aren't quite as concerned about it as much, also Spirit still has a lot of dust on it's solar panels left behind from the dust storms so it will have less power over the winter months. The majority of Opportunity's dust was blown off by wind gusts.




NASA scientists are going over Spirit's most important discovery to date. Just before the dust storms Spirit discovered nearly pure silica, scientists say it could have come from either a hot spring or fumarole, fumaroles are vents or holes in a volcanic environment in which gases and vapor vent to atmosphere. Either of these conditions on Earth would harbor lots of microbial life, just more evidence life once or still may exist on Mars.


NASA has a cool section on their website called Spooky Sounds, check it out, one of the sounds is a sonic boom of Jupiter captured by Voyager 1 in 1979, the sonic boom is created as the Solar wind moves past the planets at supersonic speed. There is also a cool Saturn's Aurora sound picked up by the Cassini's Spacecraft electronic equipment. I found a YouTube video of a lot of these sounds together below including the Voyager 1 probe encountering Solar winds.








JD from "The Uneasy Supplicant" has once again honoured me with an award, the "Blogger Cleverness Award, for being terribly clever" Jd has an awesome story, poetry, photo site all grouped into one which I visit quite regularly.



I want to pass this award on to swubird, Ya gotta check out his blog, he has an extensive military background and has very interesting posts, very glad I found this one!

Okay just got a new toy, a palmcorder. Panasonic SDR-H18. My wife got it for me as a pre-Christmas gift. Think of the possibilities, my first use of this device is to bring you Bing and Dean, check out the video below, after Dean does his thing notice what he does with his mike hand, cracks me up every time!



24 comments:

Swubird said...

Bob:

Thanks a great deal for the award. I had never heard of this before. Your site, however, is by far the best I have seen. I love your posts and your write up. The Mars shots, along with the silicon story is the best.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, a well deserved award, love your site.

kml said...

Hard to believe they can still control that little rover on Mars - those signals carry a long way! Do you know how long it takes for them to reach that planet? It is amazing!

Peter said...

Hi! Bob. Just back from my journey to space and beyond. Loved all of it! Swubird's site was a great place to visit as well.

I just get over how well the Spirit Rover is doing. If only my car could last that long without a physical service.

Now that you have another toy to play with, are we going to see live footage of your visits to other planets?

All the Best to you, Bing and Dean!
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Kathy, it all depends how far away Mars is at the time, average time for radio signals take 20 mins round trip, up to 40 mins round trip when Mars is furthest away.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Peter, I'm sure I'll be using the palmcorder more someway on my blog,Your right it is amazing just how long these rovers have been operating.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

The Martian winters sound cold!!!

Bob, have you ever wanted to become an astronaut?

Thanks for the great post and Spooky Sounds link. I'm heading over to check it out.

Congrats on your well-earned award. :D

Have a great Sunday evening. It feels like 9PM when it's only 7.

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Hi JJ yes I have wanted to be a bunch of things, astronaut,astronomer to name a couple, unfortunately never came to pass, Martian winters are long and can be as cold as -140c at the poles.

DrowseyMonkey said...

Now that is a very appropriate award! Congrats.

For some reason I can't see your photos today...probably my puter.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks drowsey, what pics cant you see?

alex kaplan said...

"Astronomers will hold a media teleconference Monday, Dec. 17, at 1 pm EST to announce the discovery of a first-of-its-kind phenomenon involving a black hole and a neighboring galaxy. Researchers made the finding by combining data from NASA's space-based telescopes and ground-based observations"

Have you heard something about it ?

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Alex, don't know a whole lot besides the fact the call is at 1pm est and that it is as they put it an "Assault" by a black hole and a neighboring galaxy, I was thinking it might be a blackhole doing something bad to the galaxy? we will know more today at 1 pm est, it will also be on, you guessed it my fave NASA TV.

The Uneasy Supplicant said...

A pre-Christmas gift? Now why didn't I think about that? :-)
Excellent post Bob. Those sounds are awesome.

As for the award YOU deserve it for your excellent site. And thanks Bob for the free plug.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Now I'm off to work on that pre-Christmas idea.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks for the award JD, good luck with your Christmas shopping!

alex kaplan said...

Bob,jets from Andromeda's black hole will burn us too,as a case i was talking about yesterday

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Alex, true, but not as nasty as that death star,lol. Talk about black hole with an attitude.

Anna said...

And here is me 16 comments later, sorry for a late arrival but the winter storm kept me at home, lol, shoveling the snow. Well, what can I say, another great post. I didn't know that the Spirit Rover was still moving around, and they couldn't come up with some kind of wipers for the solar panels, or have him in the dance mode to shake it off,lol. Listen to Spooky Sounds, but I have to tell you your you tube video is better, btw, did I hear you signing on the background with Dean, lol. Nice camera (excellent video quality) for pre-Xmas gift, I wonder what you will be getting for Xmas then - another telescope, lol. Bob, great post, and keep up the good work. Anna :)

Congrats to you then congrats to swubird on your clever award.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Anna, and thanks with your help on the reflection effect, I will be posting it tomorrow on my blog, and no kidding about the dust, should have wipers,lol. As far as the present, my wife got some retro backpay, thats why the extra cash, no more telescopes, still looking to sell one,lol.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob, I wanted to wish you and your family Happy Holdays before we all become too busy to post.

Thanks for making blogging special. :D

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks JJ, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

Oswegan said...

Those are pretty neat rover photos.

~Oswegan

Bob Johnson said...

Hi oswegan, thanks, love anything to do with the rovers.

Livingsword said...

Merry Christmas Bob!

LOL LOL

Where to begin?

Do you think maybe we could get NASA to a sunnier place? Vancouver may not have snow but it is still to “wintery” for me…I would prefer Micronesia!

I love those Rover images…it’s amazing what you can do with your new palmcorder…my wife and I cheated by opening our new gift to one another early it was just to difficult to wrap the TV :)

I have to say that I prefer the rovers self photos better than most of other self photos on the web…LOL The Rovers are tough little survivors, winning every challenge!

I’m curious, I was in the mall today and saw a DVD by Disney about the Rovers, do you know if it any good (or for that matter have you heard of it, I can’t remember the name)?

I loved the spooky video; there must also be a NASA Santa video….

Congrats on the award! Fashionable and yet practical, well deserved…

Your home made video was better than a lot of stuff on TV; you may want to offer it to the networks since they won’t need any writers for it…

Bob Johnson said...

Hi livingsword, thanks for the awesome comment, I have everything and anything to do with the little rovers, I bought the "Roving Mars" blueray dvd when it first came out, it is just awesome, besides the current stuff it has old 50s Disney films about going to Mars, a must pick up!!