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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/7/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Curiosity tover snaps a picture of Earth from the surface of Mars.

The Curiosity Mars rover has snapped a picture of Earth from the surface of Mars. In the image released by NASA, Earth only appears as a tiny speck. But it's enough to provide viewers with a little perspective on how impressive NASA's work on Mars happens to be.

Earth, visible from the surface of Mars.

Earth, visible from the surface of Mars.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/7/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Mars, curiosity, earth, rover, picture


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, NASA tweeted a picture taken by the Curiosity Mars rover, of Earth as seen from the surface of Mars. According to NASA, the image has been processed to remove the effects of cosmic rays, which would be seen as static.

The clarified picture shows earth as a tiny speck in the sky a little over an hour after Martian sunset.

Send up a light of your own to heaven.

Curiosity is looking back over its shoulder, towards home. From that speck, Curiosity originated on November 26, 2011. With extreme precision, NASA landed the Curiosity rover, an SUV-sized object, on the precise spot of the Martian surface they intended. It is an achievement that has not been duplicated before or since.

Curiosity has been at work on Mars for the past two years, collecting samples and running tests to determine if conditions for life did in fact at one time exist on Mars. The answer returned by the rover is an astounding yes.

The image of Earth, taken from Mars, tweeted by NASA.

The image of Earth, taken from Mars, tweeted by NASA.


In fact, conditions friendly for life appeared to have existed on Mars billions of years in the past. Those conditions persisted for several million years, at least.

However, the presence of friendly conditions does not mean that life actually existed on the planet at any time. Indeed, researchers have been repeatedly disappointed to see that none of their experiments show that life in microbial form, has ever existed on the planet's surface.

Other searches for life now involve looking beneath the surface, and future missions may look for areas where liquid water is expected to still exist on the surface. In those places, like they still exist if it once ever existed on Mars.

In addition to searching for evidence of life on Mars, curiosity and other rovers that are currently working on the surface, are determining the potential for human habitability on the red planet. It is expected that sometime in the next 2 to 3 decades, humans will finally step foot on Mars. When they do, they may do so as a long-term residents. However, before a Mars colony can be established, the conditions of the planet must be properly understood so that astronauts know what precautions and materials they will need to thrive on the planet surface.

For now, Curiosity is on the case.

It's amazing to think that Earth, from so far away, looks so tiny. That single dot is the only place in the entire universe where life is known to exist. Now that is humbling.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

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Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



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