1. SOCIAL ROBOTS
Through Twitter, Curiosity has found its voice. The NASA-issued @MarsCuriosity tweets provide a play-by-play of the rover's exploits on Mars. They've also inspired parody accounts. Case in point: the following exchange between Curiosity, a Martian rock, and Curiosity's sarcastic alter ego.
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 19, 2012
Um, @marscuriosity, what are you.... hey! ... HEY!
— N165 aka Coronation (@N165Mars) August 19, 2012
You laser one stupid rock in the face and suddenly people say you have anger issues. Like the rock wasn't asking for it!
— SarcasticRover (@SarcasticRover) August 20, 2012
2. COUCH PILOTS
In Mars Rover Landing, a free downloadable game for the Xbox 360, Curiosity's fate rests in the hands of players. Wannabe pilots control the craft's speed and angle of descent by moving their bodies in front of Kinect's motion sensor. Guiding the rover through its "seven minutes of terror" landing sequence is fun and, not surprisingly, tricky.
Oliver Blake, a flight operations engineer for the British-led Beagle 2 Mars probe, wanted to watch the sun rise over Mars right along with the Curiosity rover. So using topographic data from NASA's Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, Blake created Curiosity Clock, an Android app ($1.99) that shows the terrain on Mars in Local True Solar Time. A finger drag will pan the landscape 360 degrees at five locations on Curiosity's 687-Earth-day mission plan. Users can also scroll through time to watch the sun cast shadows over the Red Planet or gaze at the stars accurately positioned above it.
Correction: The original Curiosity Clock image showed a screenshot of the wrong app and has been updated.
Maybe someone here will be able to answer this.
Have any of the landers and rovers sent to mars been in a position to have taken a picture of Mars' moons? if so, do such pictures exist? Or are the moons even big enough to be seen w/o magnification (but yet in detail) from the surface?
Distance from Earth to Mars is a matter of 'when'.
The nearest that Mars has ever been to the Earth is 56 million km or about 34.8 million miles. On the opposite end of the scale, Mars and Earth can be a whopping 401 million km (249 million miles) apart when they are in opposition and both are at aphelion. The average distance between the two is 225 million km (140 million miles).
Yes. Yes. No, not in detail.
From the surface of Mars, Phobos is approx. 1/3 the apparent size of Earth's moon from Earth.
Deimos is about one quarter the apparent size of Phobos.
Animated GIF of both moons in the same shot.
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