Not much going on in the Geek Kingdom today (NOT! So totally NOT!) so let’s check in with Mars Rover Opportunity, who, unlike fellow trailblazer Spirit, currently has power and is about to investigate a recently fallen meteorite on the Red Planet.
via NASA and JPL:
Images that NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took at the end of an 81-meter (266-foot) drive on Sept. 16 reveal a dark rock about 31 meters (102 feet) away. The rover’s science team has decided to go get a closer look at the toaster-sized rock and determine whether it is an iron meteorite.”The dark color, rounded texture and the way it is perched on the surface all make it look like an iron meteorite,” said science-team member Matt Golombek of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Opportunity has found four iron meteorites during the rover’s exploration of the Meridiani Planum region of Mars since early 2004. Examination of these rocks has provided information about the Martian atmosphere, as well as the meteorites themselves.
The newfound rock has been given the informal name “Oileán Ruaidh” (pronounced ay-lan ruah), which is the Gaelic name for an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland. The rock is about 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide from the angle at which it was first seen.
Here’s hoping the courageous little ‘bot can harness the powers of a hokey religion to telekinetically summon an ancient weapon if it soon finds itself hanging upside down in a predator’s cave somewhere.
Speaking of Mars, ever have a pimple so big you nicknamed it Olympus Mons? Me too.