Amazing Photos of Mars

Because it’s such a huge part of my day to day life, it’s easy to take technology for granted, and lose sight of just how friggin’ miraculous it is. But there’s still a few things that fill me with a childlike sense of awe and wonder. This is one of them.

The photo is of the Cydonia region of Mars, as 13.7 meter resolution, the infamous site of the “face” that appeared in a Viking photograph 30 years ago (which looks much less like a face in this photo). The image is both striking and hauntingly beautiful – do yourself a favor and click it to see the high resolution version.

This is a photo of another world. What’s depicted here doesn’t exist anywhere on the planet Earth. And it was brought to my desktop; I can call it up whenever I want to, and see a picture of Mars, a place so distant it would take over eight minutes to reach it at the speed of light.

Perhaps even more spectacular is this panoramic taken by the Opportunity Rover:

(Go ahead, click through to the high res)

Here’s what strikes me every time I look at that photo. At first glance, it’s not too dissimilar from some of Earth’s desserts, but there’s an huge (though nearly invisible) difference. There’s not a living thing anywhere in that photo. Not a plant, not an animal, not even so much as bacteria. Though you can’t see it, the atmosphere would be unbreathable for humans.

It’s truly an alien place. And there it is, right there on my computer screen.

If that’s not awe inspiring, I don’t know what is.

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