Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The Saint smokes this image on a NASA Mars Curiosity rover

The Saint smokes this image on a NASA Mars Curiosity rover

A curiosity rover explores an area called Central Butte. This is the view.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

I'm looking at many pictures of Mars. A lot. I was just browsing through some recent raw images sent back from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and came across this view. I stopped. I stared. I let my mind crumble in the dust of dust, planetary exploration, and the sheer magical audacity of sending robots to other planets.

The curiosity's right navigation camera snapped this view Friday from a place called Central Butte in Gale Crater. Charming rock formations of the butt are at the forefront. Rover scientists are interested in the geology of the area.

At first glance, it seems almost like the rover sees a strange fog or cloudy coast in the distance. To see any viewpoint of Curiosity's view, you must know that the meteorite crater created by Galle is 96 miles (1

54 kilometers) in diameter. It has a towering mountain in the middle (Mount Sharp) and walls that rise all around the edge of the crater.

Mars can be cruel. Sometimes this takes our favorite machines away from us . Sometimes foils our best laid plans . And sometimes it rewards us with extraterrestrial beauty that is even more striking to both her alien and her knowledge.

That is why I spend one Saturday morning staring at this Martian landscape. This could be a winter day somewhere in the New Mexico desert.

I look at many pictures of Mars and this one is worth more than one look. Let this be meditation.

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