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Aw what a pretty planet.

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by diego, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. diego

    diego TRIBE Member


    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Astronomers reacted with jubilation Wednesday at new pictures of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, saying the planet's close pass to Earth enabled the Hubble to capture "quite spectacular" images.

    "We've never seen this kind of resolution in Hubble images, that kind of detail," said Cornell University astronomer Jim Bell said, pointing to a canyon wall on the Valles Marineris, a giant canyon that runs 2,800 miles across the red planet.

    The Baltimore-based Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the telescope, released the first Hubble images of Mars early Wednesday. The pictures were taken late Tuesday and early Wednesday as the as the planet made its closest pass by Earth in 60,000 years.

    "They are quite spectacular. You knew they were going to be good; seeing them is something else," said Michael Wolff, an astronomer with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., who was also on hand for the release.

    The images, taken when Mars was about 34.6 million miles from Earth, show surface details as small as 17 miles across.

    "These are the best that have ever been, and will ever be taken with the Hubble Space Telescope," Wolff said.

    Scientists will now study the pictures in detail, and there's hope that the images will lead to new discoveries, Wolff said.

    "Before we were looking at broad areas and things tend to get averaged out," Wolff said. "There's the possibility something we missed before will be there."

    While spacecraft orbiting Mars can show objects in greater detail, they often cannot make an image of the entire planet at once, or at all times of the Martian day, Wolff said.

    Earth-bound telescopes, meanwhile, have to deal with the distorting effects of the Earth's atmosphere. The Hubble also has instruments that allow it to capture wavelengths the spacecraft orbiting Mars cannot see.
  2. lok

    lok TRIBE Member

    Does anyone else find it completely humbling that Mars is "close" at 34.6 million miles. I mean, wow. My life means absolutely nothing :)
  3. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

    so you just realized how insignificant we are in teh grand scheme of things?

  4. lok

    lok TRIBE Member


    Its merely a reminder. Thanks for being antagonistic :)
  5. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

    Thanks for being there... even though we are all useless.
  6. smack

    smack TRIBE Member

    I can't wait to get the hell off this planet!

    It smells like poo
  7. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    What makes us special, and less insignificant, is that we recognize our own insignificance. :)
  8. lok

    lok TRIBE Member

    Mind you, it would only take me 790 years of constant walking to get there. Thats not too bad.
  9. AdamAnt

    AdamAnt TRIBE Member

    Werd. Earth II here we come.
  10. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

    Imagine if you had a moped.
  11. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

    Bullshit... I'm calling the next planet George
  12. Evil Dynovac

    Evil Dynovac TRIBE Member

    We are insignificant specks of dust... and yet we conceive, create, and consume birthday cakes. Sweet, delicious chocolate with blue icing birthday cakes.

    It just doesn't add up.
  13. lok

    lok TRIBE Member

    Only 61 years.

    But you'd have to refuel 213580 times.

    Thats rough.
  14. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

  15. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    Looking up at the stars from the top of a cliff at Algonquin this weekend made me feel so close to the sky (yes, I was on mushrooms).

    It kinda makes me feel insignificant, but also really special.
  16. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Everybody lives on a street in a city
    Or a village or a town for what it's worth.
    And they're all inside a country which is part of a continent
    That sits upon a planet known as Earth.
    And the Earth is a ball full of oceans and some mountains
    Which is out there spinning silently in space.
    And living on that Earth are the plants and the animals
    And also the entire human race.

    It's a great big universe
    And we're all really puny
    We're just tiny little specks
    About the size of Mickey Rooney.
    It's big and black and inky
    And we are small and dinky
    It's a big universe and we're not.

    And we're part of a vast interplanetary system
    Stretching seven hundred billion miles long.
    With nine planets and a sun; we think the Earth's the only one
    That has life on it, although we could be wrong.
    Across the interstellar voids are a billion asteroids
    Including meteors and Halley's Comet too.
    And there's over fifty moons floating out there like balloons
    In a panoramic trillion-mile view.

    And still it's all a speck amid a hundred billion stars
    In a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
    It's sixty thousand trillion miles from one end to the other
    And still that's just a fraction of the way.
    'Cause there's a hundred billion galaxies that stretch across the sky
    Filled with constellations, planets, moons and stars.
    And still the universe extends to a place that never ends
    Which is maybe just inside a little jar!

    It's a great big universe
    And we're all really puny
    We're just tiny little specks
    About the size of Mickey Rooney.
    Though we don't know how it got here
    We're an important part here
    It's a big universe and it's ours!
  17. lok

    lok TRIBE Member

    Id take a clear starfield to a sunny day on any occasion. Its just so majestic and yet gorgeous. Especially when you can see the Milky Way.
  18. Jeremy Jive

    Jeremy Jive TRIBE Member

    Humbled? To the contrary. Things in the universe happened millions and billions of years ago. These changes also take millions of years.

    We as humans have made probably the fastest change the universe has ever see. In a meer few thousand years look how we have evolved and how we changed the planet we inhabit. In the greater scheme of things maybe the majority of these are not positives but none the less look what we have done.

    We are now beginning to really forge our way into the greater universe. Its only a matter of time til we are travelling at and beyond the speed of light. Just a hundred years ago we were still on horses. Now we travel at a rate of thousand of times the speed of one horse. We are no longer bound to the ground or the surface of the water. We can go up, we can go down, we can even put things up that go over and around the planet without coming down. We have the technogology to live away from the surface of the earth.

    I think its a humbling balance. We have managed to do so much in so little a time. However that is diminished with the thoughts that we at this time are alone, we are incapable of finding or communication with others if they are out there. And to think that this will happen soon is foolish. The universe progresses at its own slower timeless pace.

    jeremy -amazed and humbled- jive
  19. lok

    lok TRIBE Member

    Great post Jer.

    One thing to add though..

    the Universe went from nothing to something in less than a millionth of a second.

    Thats pretty fast too :)
  20. defazman

    defazman TRIBE Member

    its a nice picture, but its not worth the eleventybillion dollars the telescope cost.
  21. smack

    smack TRIBE Member

    Thats a very american thing to say
  22. defazman

    defazman TRIBE Member

    HEY! are you calling Americans accurate?
  23. diego

    diego TRIBE Member

    I'm not buying into this insignificant bullshit.

    Becaue the universe is so huge and seemingly endless this means that our planet and ourselfs are insignificant?

    there's reason for everything and action cause's reaction.
    Our plant, ourselfs are in constant action meaning we are by some standards causing a reaction to the universe around us and there for effecting the great scheme of things in some kinda of nature.

    We as people are VERY significant in what happens to our planet, if our plant were to somehow cease to fuction properly it would cause a disruption in our solar system which would have some effect on the universe around us and probably send shockwaves of small or large size that my effect other solar systems stars galaxys are what not.

    We all have a part in the unknown. We just might not be sure what it is.
  24. lok

    lok TRIBE Member

    The more you know of science, the more you realize we don't know a goddamn thing :)
  25. Jeremy Jive

    Jeremy Jive TRIBE Member

    I don't think so at all. The universe does however change on in a way that is far beyond anything we are capable of. The universe changes by forming stars, constellations, galaxies, black holes, suns, and so on.

    We evolve in technology.

    Building a star doesn't take a leap in technology and innovation. A star is formed the same way it was millions and billions of years ago. Not much has changed. The biggest change is our growing understanding of how it happens.

    Even the implosion, collapse or death of a star, sun or galaxy doesn't happen over night, over years or over centuries. Probably the only natural thing that happens as fast as something humans have done is universal collision. Asteroids and comets collide with planets all the time. That happens very quickly but the build up to it lasts far longer than we have been around. These flying objects of the universe have been flying the same route over and over again since they were broken off from the larger chunks. Gravity whips them around the same elipicatal pathway until that route coincides with the route of a larger object or planet. However these collisions can be predicted through mathematical calculation. So do they really happen instantiously or over thousands of years?

    I don't think its an american thing to say. I think its just a proud comment. I'm proud of some things we have accomplished. I'm ashamed of more. We unlike the rest of the animals on this planet don't run on instinct. We have a choice and many of those choices have progessed us forward but at what cost? Why move forward if it sets our planet back twice as far? How long before we have destroyed our planet and have to look elsewhere for a place to live? What if we don't have the technology go get there in time?

    jeremy -pondering- jive

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