January 2, 2009 #069 - Mars

As I set here today writing, snow flakes are drifting down softly from a gray sky. The Chickadee's have been feeding at the suet. Winter has a sure grip on the north land.

Yesterday, I was speaking about my favorite pictures from spacecraft roaming the solar system as the new year dawns. My second favorite view was captured by Opportunity as it treks across the Martian desert. This rover is racing time and entropy in a bid to reach Endeavour Crater before mechanical or electronic death embraces it. I can not help looking at this picture without remembering the martian named "Tweel" from "A Martian Odyssey" penned by Stanley G. Weinbaum in the 1930's. Like Opportunity, Stanley had only a short time to write his stories, as he was dying.

"Tweel" was described as bird like. As I look at images of Opportunity and especially it's shadow cast on the desert as the sun sets behind it the resemblance is striking. He traveled great distances by springing into the martian sky, and travelling much like a thrown javelin. The rover travels in spurts, gathering data for the next jump also.

Clear Sky - Rich

No comments: