That's what it looks like, doesn't it? In reality this is Sydney, Australia, Earth, shrouded in a severe dust storm that has covered much of the country's eastern coast for the last few days. And while breathing is hard and transportation has ground to a standstill, the photos are spectacular.
Like painted kites, those days and nights
went flyin' byThe world was new, beneath a blue
umbrella skyThen softer than a piper man,
one day it called to youAnd I lost you, I lost you to
the summer wind...
NASA engineers are hoping those words, famously crooned by Frank Sinatra, don't come true this summer for the unflappable Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
Summer is approaching on Mars, and with it comes the onset of huge wind storms that kick dust around the twin Mars Exploration Rovers and their life-giving solar panels.
By Gregory MonePosted 07.06.2007 at 12:04 pm 1 Comment
Space.com is reporting that Martian dust storms could be a bigger problem for the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, than NASA previously believed. One storm covers nearly the entire southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, and is blocking 99 percent of the sunlight from getting through. This is a problem for the long-lasting robots because they're powered by solar panels. The rovers are operating in low-power mode, but if the surface stays dusty long enough, they could run out of juice completely and shut down for good. Even if that does happen, though, they will have long outlasted their original life expectancy.—Gregory Mone