Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shoshe - Amateur Robot Astronomy

Spirit has more power than she's had in about 2 Mars years, so the engineers have requested that we do more nighttime observations to use up power (when we don't use up enough power, we shunt it by waking up in the middle of the night and turning on our heaters for an hour or two). I thought it would be nifty to take a picture of Earth, and it turns out that Earth and Venus are in conjunction in the martian sky! They're about 1.5 degrees apart tonight, and will be close to each other a bit after sunset for the next several nights. I've spent the past few days working closely with the Pancam operators and an awesome researcher who's been studying twilight at Gusev. On 21 June at 19:07:28 UTC (19:40:05 local time), Spirit will start taking some pictures for me! If these go well, we might take images every day or two for several days and make a little movie.

1 comment:

YL said...

That sounded so cool =)