NASA scientists say crater, formed by an impact billions of years ago, is the largest yet encountered
It could be the Sahara or Egypt’s Western Desert, but this sand-covered crater is the latest image from Mars.
The picture was taken from US space agency Nasa’s Mars exploration rover, Opportunity, close to where the robotic unit spent the winter analysing soil and air samples. The picture shows the explorer’s deck and solar panels, tracks it had previously made and a crater that was created by an impact billions of years ago.
Opportunity has now spent 3,000 Martian days on Mars (eight and a half Earth years), and Nasa has consistently had a robot there for 15 years. Mars Pathfinder landed on 4 July 1997; Nasa’s Mars Global Surveyor orbiter reached the planet while Pathfinder was still active; and Global Surveyor overlapped the active missions of the Mars Odyssey orbiter and Opportunity. The latter two are both still in service.
The image was assembled from 817 component images taken between 21 December 2011, and 8 May 2012, while Opportunity was stationed on an outcrop informally named “Greeley Haven” on the rim of the ancient Endeavour crater.
“The view provides rich geologic context for the detailed chemical and mineral work that the team did at Greeley Haven over the rover’s fifth Martian winter, as well as a spectacularly detailed view of the largest impact crater that we’ve driven to yet with either rover over the course of the mission,” said Jim Bell of Arizona State University.
Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, landed on Mars in January 2004 for missions originally planned to last three months.
Nasa’s next-generation Mars rover, Curiosity, is on course to land on Mars next month.
Opportunity’s science team chose to call the winter campaign site Greeley Haven in tribute to their colleague Ronald Greeley, who died last year.
“This scene, with its beautiful wind-blown drifts and dunes, captures much of what Ron loved about Mars,” said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, New York, the principal investigator for Opportunity and Spirit.
Trump ‘will get worse’ because he does not fear Democrats impeaching him: Chairwoman Maxine Waters
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) predicted on Friday that President Donald Trump "will get worse" because of the lack of impeachment proceedings.
Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, was interviewed on MSNBC by Chris Hayes.
"I want to switch gears on the last question here, just to talk about what’s happened over the last several days with the president’s attacks on your colleagues, the chants of 'Send her Back,' which the president sort of very, very tepidly and meekly sort of disavowed yesterday, but then essentially reavowed today when given an opportunity to talk about it, he sort of reembraced his supporters who were chanting that," Hayes noted.
Fox News hires former Trump spokesman as Senior Vice President: report
The revolving door between the White House and Fox News was spinning on Friday as a former spokesman for President Donald Trump was hired by Fox News.
"A bit of news: Raj Shah, the former spokesman in the White House, is joining Fox as a senior Vice President," Washington Post White House correspondent Josh Dawsey reported on Friday.
After Hope Hicks left her job as White House communications director, she was hired to lead corporate communications for New Fox, the parent company of Fox News.
Here’s why President Trump’s explicit racism is an impeachable offense
Without even waiting for former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about President Donald Trump's obstruction of justice, Democrats are legally justified in acting now to impeach the president for his explicit racism, a civil rights activist argued on Friday.
Journalist and author Shaun King laid out his argument in a column published by The Intercept.
To make his argument, King explained the difference between implicit and explicit racism.
"Across the country, corporations and government agencies, including police departments, are offering a wave of what’s called 'implicit bias training.' The fundamental theory is that, in this country, otherwise well-meaning employees can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic in ways that they may not really even be aware of," he explained. "It’s the notion that people unknowingly or unconsciously discriminate against others."