Feeds

World first: ANIMATED GIF of Mercurian SUN ZOOM from MARS

Rover gives the nod to the history of astronomy

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Ever wondered what on earth the Mars Rover Curiosity is actually doing all the way out there on the surface of the Red Planet? Staring into space, that's what.

Whilst peering up at the stars last week, the car-sized nuclear powered prowler caught sight of the planet Mercury passing in front of the sun, representing the first time a planetary transit has been viewed from the surface of anywhere but dear green earth.

In true Buzzfeed style, the whole historical incident has been immortalised by NASA as an animated gif image.

Click here for proper size

"This is a nod to the relevance of planetary transits to the history of astronomy on Earth," said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station, a member of the Mastcan science team. "Observations of Venus transits were used to measure the size of the solar system, and Mercury transits were used to measure the size of the sun."

The observations were made on June 3, 2014, from Curiosity, which is currently inside Gale Crater on Mars. The star-gazing machine also glimpsed two sunspots which are about the size of earth.

Many earthbound space cadets will remember Venus passing between the Earth and the Sun in June 2012. More still will be looking forward to Mercury doing the same in May 2016. Curiosity will see Mercury move past the Sun from its viewpoint during April of next year. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?