I spent much of Saturday and Monday flying places, and Sunday and earlier Monday in a meeting, so the weekend wasn’t great for walking, though I did get some steps around the lab in between meeting and flying on Monday. This guy went flying too, a few seconds after this photo:
There was some decent weather during the week for walks on campus. Next several days not looking so favorable though.
On Mars, remember my long spell of nothing to mention? No nearby HiRISE pictures for instance? Well, I’m getting out of that situation.
Though it’s not quite as exciting as it looks, maybe, because it seems nearly all those pictures are labeled something like “Possible Future Landing Site for InSight Mission”. OK, landing on Mars, that’s exciting, but the terrain they pick tends not to be all that dramatic. Here’s the one twenty or so km west of me:
InSight? A NASA/JPL spacecraft, originally intended to be launched last year for a September 2016 landing. But there were problems with a vacuum leak in its seismometer experiment, so the mission was postponed to 2018. Apparently the site they ended up selecting was one about 50 km further west. Should I take a detour and visit it? Hm, naah. If it had actually landed last Fall, yeah, I would’ve, but not while it’s only a potential landing site.
Week got off to a pretty good start with a 10 km hike on Sunday and some good walks Monday and Tuesday. And then it kind of fell apart. Not bad overall though.
Is a HiRISE picture 50 km to my east worth noting? Heckyeah. It’s the closest I’ve been to anything at all in a long time. “Westernmost End of Athabasca Valles Lava” they’re calling it, and yes, that does look like a lava flow from the northeast. I like this feature in the middle with the squiggly stuff all around it:
A couple of not very notable weeks for distance, and where I am on Mars still doesn’t have much in the way of HiRISE photos, place names, or other things worth talking about.
But today’s day 365 — which would mean one full year of MarsWalking, except 2016 was a leap year, so tomorrow’s the last day of the first year and Sunday’s the first anniversary of the start.
And if there’s not much to see around me on Mars, I can (virtually) (at the right hour) look up. Like HiRISE did, and it saw this:
Actually that’s a composite of two photographs, taken with different exposures, because the world on the right is a lot brighter than the world on the left (higher albedo), but it does preserve the correct distance, relative size, and orientations. The two worlds there are the Moon and Earth, of course. Click on the photo to see it at a larger size, or go to the NASA web site for details.
110 km is normally too far away for me to consider as nearby, but it’s the second nearest any HiRISE image has been in weeks and it’s kind of cool looking:
Check out what’s going on along the southern rim, along with the funky central peak with the pit in the middle.
Between weather and the 1:45 am arrival on Wednesday of my son for the holidays, I didn’t cover much distance this week. What kind of weather, you ask?Not fair of course; Curiosity is just a little south of the equator during Martian southern hemisphere summer.
I didn’t post anything on Friday (last week, or the week before) for lack of anything much to say, but then I remembered some new Mars content. JPL’s Spacecraft 3D app has evidently been around for a while but I just learned about it with the announcement of a new version recently. I wrote it up on my rocketry blog; read about it there, but here’s pictures of more of the Mars spacecraft included.
I’m still in boringville, but I’m past the 2/3 point of the journey.
I finally decided it’s OK not to post a weekly update if there’s nothing worth talking about. You can always check the spreadsheet if you want to know where I’ve gotten to.
A pretty miserable week for distance. Saturday I was busy all day at Walt’s Secret Santa. We got 2 feet of snow Sunday and Monday. I think I heard it was largest or second largest November snowstorm on record. We’ve now had something like 1/3 as much snow as all last winter. Walking during Monday to Wednesday was limited due to sidewalk conditions — I suppose if I’d thought of it I could’ve brought my snowshoes to work and tramped around in Oakwood Cemetery, but I didn’t — and continued unpleasant weather. Threat of rain kept me in on Thanksgiving though it didn’t actually rain much. Today the meetup group had a hike in Camillus Forest. It was billed as a snowshoe hike but enough had melted or been tramped down that the trail was mostly bare. (Mostly bare mud.) Some of us brought snowshoes but we left them in the cars. 6 km. Good to be out there again.
One notable thing: On Tuesday, I did cross the 2000 km point.
This HiRISE picture of a candidate impact site is just under 100 km off to my east, and is not all that exciting, but it’s the closest I’ve been to a HiRISE site in weeks.
Remarkably, after months of not doing any Outdoor Adventures meetup events, I’ve just done two a week apart. Sunday’s hike was at Highland Forest, scene of many Boy Scout campouts in my youth and several rocket launches in my son’s youth which led me to my present rocketry activity… but this was the first time I’ve hiked the main trail in its 14 km entirety. It was by a good margin the longest on-foot distance I’ve done any day this year, and probably for several years prior. In fact it was a good week considering none of it was on bicycle.
As forecast, there’s nothing of any interest near me on Mars, and nothing elsewhere on or near the planet that counts as compelling news. Can I go live there?
Sunday I went on a 7 mile hike with the Outdoor Adventures meetup group, and Tuesday I got a good midday walk in, but most of the rest of the week was washed out. Or, on Monday, jury dutied out. I mean, I did get more than 6000 steps in Monday and Wednesday, giving me my 19th and (ta daa) 20th Walktober leaves, but not much more than that.
And I posted a picture from the Sunday hike on Instagram (don’t bother, I’ll put it here, below) which won me a Walktober prize: a blender cup and a t shirt:... left over from last year, apparently. Anyway, here’s the prize! winning! photo! from Green Lakes State Park.
Which is a whole lot more interesting than anything (virtually) near me on Mars, so let’s just throw in a picture of something not near me, fortunately or it could have been a (virtually) bad day: HiRise imagery of the Schiaparelli crash site.
(Annotated image from the ESA site.) Next week I don’t expect anything to crash into Mars, and I don’t see much of interest on my route, so it may get dull here…