NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod 2 rover.
"Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. "This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance."
A drive of 157 feet (48 meters) on July 27 put Opportunity’s total odometry at 25.01 miles (40.25 kilometers).This month’s driving brought the rover southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover had driven more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) before arriving at Endeavour Crater in 2011, where it has examined outcrops on the crater’s rim containing clay and sulfate-bearing minerals. The sites are yielding evidence of ancient environments with less acidic water than those examined at Opportunity’s landing site.
If the rover can continue to operate the distance of a marathon — 26.2 miles (about 42.2 kilometers) — it will approach the next major investigation site mission scientists have dubbed “Marathon Valley.” Observations from spacecraft orbiting Mars suggest several clay minerals are exposed close together at this valley site, surrounded by steep slopes where the relationships among different layers may be evident.
The Russian Lunokhod 2 rover, a successor to the first Lunokhod mission in 1970, landed on Earth’s moon on Jan. 15, 1973, where it drove about 24.2 miles (39 kilometers) in less than five months, according to calculations recently made using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) cameras that reveal Lunokhod 2’s tracks.
Foraminifera are single-celled protists with shells, found in all marine environments, where they may be planktic or benthic in mode of life. Although a species (Syringammina fragilissima), is known to form a structure of up to 20 cm across, most foraminifera are actually small and microscopic.
Their shells are also referred to as tests because in some forms the protoplasm covers the exterior of the shell. The shells are commonly divided into chambers which are added during growth, though the simplest forms are open tubes or hollow spheres. Depending on the species, the shell may be made of organic compounds, sand grains and other particles cemented together, or crystalline calcite.
Foraminifera have a geological range from the earliest Cambrian to the present day. So they have been utilized for biostratigraphy for many years, and they have also proven invaluable in palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, and most recently for palaeoceanographical and palaeoclimatological purposes.
Photo credit: ©Frederic Labaune | Locality: unknown
Painted scenes from inside the Buddhist Ajanta Caves, India, which date from the 2nd century BCE. These particular painted works are all from Cave 17.
Photos taken by Kirk Kittell.
i know its supposed to be like social list but did anyone think this through
organize the things you love, like the economy
collaborate in the workplace
Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)
…is a species of “Hummingbird” Sphinx Moth (Sphingidae) which is widely distributed throughout North America. Adult snowberry clearwings are often seen in flowery fields during the day where they will feed, like the hummingbirds they are named after, on nectar from flowers. Snowberry clearwings are typically seen flying from March to September, however this season can be shorter the north north they occur. Snowberry clearwings will have two generations per year. With caterpillars feeding on dogbane, honeysuckle, and of course snowberry.
After several poor summers for Scotland’s puffins, the “clowns of the sea” are gearing up to leave the country after a good breeding season, experts have said.
Changes to habitat and food brought on by climate change have created difficult conditions for breeding puffins in recent years, but early indications show that Scotland has enjoyed a positive breeding season, according to the Scottish Seabird Centre.
With pufflings now hatched and ready to take wing, visitors to Scotland have only a few weeks left before the birds – who come to Scottish islands including May, Craigleith, Fidre and Shetland – leave Britain’s northern shores in August, said the chief executive, Tom Brock.
(via The Guardian)
This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth
“Turns out that for 7,000 years, snacking on nutsedge may have helped people avoid tooth decay. But at some point, the root it lost its charm. By the 1970s, it was branded “the world’s worst weed.”
Learn more from NPR.
Another plea to amateur UK naturalists: be sure to take part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count, which continues until 10th August. Pictured is the Camberwell Beauty, Nymphalis antiopa, a rare migrant on our island.
…is a species of membracid treehopper that is widely distributed throughout central and eastern North America. Adult A. tartarea are typically active from May through October, and are active on a variety of host plants. Which typically consist of black locust, ragweed, and various sunflower and goldenrod species.
Venomous vs poisonous! If this one’s too small, you can read it on my site here. The animals are: northern copperhead, cane toad, tiger keelback snake, hooded pitohui, northern short-tailed shrew.
If you like my work, check out my Patreon, which is just $1.74 away from $200!
A lovely comic done by a lovely person. And it’s super informative!