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Candor & Meridiani
Immediately after posting this photo of exposed layered deposits in Mars, I discovered these recently released images of possible landing sites for the Mars Science Laboratory. Like the earlier one, these obscenely stunning landscape photographs were taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. There are 153 in all.

One wonders if the most interesting landscape photographers aren't working here on earth and are rather spaceborne or on other planets, collaborating with NASA and government contractors. Could we be in another WPA era?

Are Opportunity and Spirit the new Anselm Adams?

Since I couldn't resist posting just one image, there will be two this time. The first one shows the swirling geology of Candor Chasma, a major canyon of Valles Marineris; the other shows a slice of East Meridiani, though it's obviously a lost texturological work by Jean Dubuffet.

Interestingly, both seem imminently palpable. If you were to decide to reach out for your computer screen, you might actually touch something other than a mechanically smooth surface. Lick it and you'll taste Martian salt.

In any case, enjoy!

Candor Chasma

East Meridiani

  • Anonymous
  • October 19, 2007 at 8:37:00 PM CDT
  • Stunningly beautiful photos but I think they would be appreciated more if we had some idea of the scale and size of these features.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 19, 2007 at 9:35:00 PM CDT
  • Hey Anonymous,

    To get some sense of scale, download the "map projected" versions of the image. In the upper right corner, there's a scale bar. It's not much, but it's something.

  • Anonymous
  • October 21, 2007 at 4:26:00 PM CDT
  • stunning! amazing! breath taking!

    thanks for sharing

    now, one can only begin to grasp the size and sublim beauty of other planets

  • Anonymous
  • October 23, 2007 at 2:36:00 AM CDT
  • This article is really long.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 23, 2007 at 11:20:00 AM CDT
  • And yet you still want it much longer. You know you do.

  • Anonymous
  • October 26, 2007 at 5:51:00 AM CDT
  • Amazing pictures. Is there a person in one of those craters though?

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 26, 2007 at 11:54:00 AM CDT
  • It's a dancing couple. And the woman is holding a bow and arrow...?

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