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深山兰:“好奇”号传回火星地表的彩色照片
送交者: 深山兰 2012年08月10日09:44:40 于 [教育学术] 发送悄悄话


“好奇”号传回火星地表的彩色照片


火星探测器“好奇”传回火星地表的彩色照片(它发回的拼接照片,我没有取来。若用原照片的外链地址,显示的照片太宽。若压缩尺寸,细节看不清。下面是那个照片的三副细节裁图)。

“好奇”号降落在一个叫“Gale Crater”陨石坑内。


1,这样的地貌和地地球上某些地区的地貌几乎一样。这红色的尘土下是否有生命存在过?


2,这红色的土壤是天文上的事件而产生的氧气把铁氧化了的结果,还是生物现象产生的氧气所为呢?


3,当水在其中流淌的时间段内,生命是否孕育过?


以上的照片Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


这是“好奇”号周围的地质环境的黑白照片。远处起伏的山峦清晰可见。

4,那起伏的山峦和低洼处,是否可有生命在其周围活动过?这是“好奇”号主要想知道的。

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


科学家们所以选这里作“好奇”号的降落地点,原因是,它的主要使命是探测火星上现今可能存在的生命迹象或过去曾经存在过的生命遗迹。火星上的轨道器已经探明这里存在粘土层和硫酸盐矿物。这表明这个低洼地过去曾是有过水存在的历史。从理论上推测,这里是可能存在生命概率很大的地方。

“好奇”号接下的任务是将会用机械手臂上工具对岩石和土壤钻探,取样,送入探测器的分析实验室进行分析化验,试图发现是否有生命存在。

我们期待着它会有惊人的发现。下面是NASA网站上关于此事报道的全文。最后是上述照片的外链地址。


PASADENA, Calif. – The first images from Curiosity's color Mast Camera, or Mastcam, have been received by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The 130 low-resolution thumbnails, which were received Thursday morning, provide scientists and engineers of NASA's newest Mars rover their first color, horizon-to-horizon glimpse of Gale Crater.

"After a year in cold storage, where it endured the rigors of launch, the deep space cruise to Mars and everything that went on during landing, it is great to see our camera is working as planned," said Mike Malin, principal investigator of the Mastcam instrument from Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. "As engaging as this color panorama is, it is important to note this is only one-eighth the potential resolution of images from this camera."

The Curiosity team also continued to downlink high-resolution black-and-white images from its Navigation Camera, or Navcam. These individual images have been stitched together to provide a high-resolution Navcam panorama, including a glimpse of the rover's deck. Evident on some portions of the deck are some small Martian pebbles.

"The latest Navcam images show us that the rocket engines on our descent stage kicked up some material from the surface of Mars, several pieces which ended up on our rover's deck," said Mike Watkins, mission manager for Curiosity from JPL. "These small pebbles we currently see are up to about 1 centimeter [0.4 inch] in size and should pose no problems for mission operations. It will be interesting to see how long our hitchhikers stick around."

Curiosity's color panorama of Gale Crater is online at: http://1.usa.gov/P7VsUw . Additional images from Curiosity are available at: http://1.usa.gov/MfiyD0 .

Mission engineers devoted part of their third Martian day, or "Sol 3," to checking the status of four of Curiosity's science instruments after their long trip. The rover's Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, Chemistry and Mineralogy analyzer, Sample Analysis at Mars, and Dynamic of Albedo Neutrons instruments were each energized and went through a preliminary checkout. The team also performed a check on the rover's second flight computer.

Even before landing, the mission's science team began the process of creating a geological map of about 150 square miles (about 390 square kilometers) within Gale Crater that includes the landing area.

"It is important to understand the geological context around Curiosity," said Dawn Sumner of the University of California, Davis, a member of the Curiosity science team. "We want to choose a route to Mount Sharp that makes good progress toward the destination while allowing important science observations along the way."

The mapping project divided the area into 151 quadrangles of about one square mile (about 2.6 square kilometers) each. Curiosity landed in the quadrangle called Yellowknife. Yellowknife is the city in northern Canada that was the starting point for many of the great geological expeditions to map the oldest rocks in North America.

Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on NASA's Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking rocks' elemental composition from a distance, are the first of their kind on Mars. Curiosity will use a drill and scoop, which are located at the end of its robotic arm, to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into the rover's analytical laboratory instruments.

To handle this science toolkit, Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity. The Gale Crater landing site places the rover within driving distance of layers of the crater's interior mountain. Observations from orbit have identified clay and sulfate minerals in the lower layers, indicating a wet history.

The Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mars and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .

Follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .



http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/675500main_pia16035-43_800-600.jpg



http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/675519main_pia16034-43_800-600.jpg



http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/675355main_pia16032-43_800-600.jpg



Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/675215main_pia16028-43_800-600.jpg


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech




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