The Valentine Apocalypse and Life on Mars

heartbuttonThe Valentines Apocalypse

February 14th might be the day of love, but February 15th might kill you if the math is wrong. NASA last Thursday confirmed that asteroid 2012 DA-14 will pass with in 17,000 miles of earth. Thats closer than some satellites currently in orbit.   At 11:24 p.m. pacific standard time the valentines asteroid known as 2012 DA-14 will make it’s closest approach. At 150 feet wide it would have the force of 2.5 megatons of TNT.

Further observations refined the asteroid’s path. It cruises around the sun in an orbit almost identical to Earth’s. Our year is 365 days. Its year is a day longer. Like a drunken driver weaving across lanes, asteroid 2012 DA14 crosses paths with Earth twice a year at varying distances.

Despite these opportunities for disaster, scientists tracking the asteroid are confident 2012 DA14 won’t collide with us for at least the next century, which is as far as they’ve been able to project its path. Next week’s approach is the closest during that time.

By Brian Vastag The Washington Post

The full Washington Post article is available at utsandiego.com

Was There Life on Mars?

metal on marsThis image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 173 (2013-01-30 23:39:36 UTC) .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

As the rover rolls around the martian landscape it’s snapping photos like any other tourist visiting a new world would. Right, left, front and back, but on January 30th, 2013 it caught this. What appears to be a metallic object jutting out of the ground.

straight cutsThis image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 173 (2013-01-31 00:15:53 UTC) .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
A line of rocks with suspiciously straight lines. After the missing keystone shaped piece this pattern continues with what seems to be a straight top cut.

mars rocks cont

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

In the next photo the ground could pass as an ancient Roman road.

mars streetImage Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Curiosity Rovers before and after drill sample photo is taken on what could very well pass for a paved brown stone deck, foundation of a building or an ancient road. There are hundreds of photo NASA/JPL share online.

Go browse through images of mars for signs of life for yourself at Mars Science Laboratory.

If you find something share it with us so we can share it with everybody else.

We maybe just seeing what we want or we may need to wait till we can send archeologist to Mars, either way the prospect is intriguing. At least we have the means to see what the surface of Mars looks like from our living room in almost real time. That is a major accomplishment for us at this point in history.  Lets hope science gets the math right in time to control or deflect asteroids that might pose a risk to us. But for now, lets keep looking for life on Mars.

Here is a untouched picture of the object on Mars.

mars objectIf these aren’t proof of life on Mars then at least the photos are stunning once you grasp where they were taken.

Thanks NASA/JPL

Have a Happy Valentines Apocalypse, Rev James Jones

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