NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this false-color image on Mars during the rover’s 746th Martian day, or sol, after using the rock abrasion tool to brush the surfaces of rock targets informally named “Stars” (left) and “Crawfords” (right). Small streaks of dust extend for several centimeters behind the small rock chips and pebbles in the dusty, red soils. Because the rover was looking southwest when this image was taken, the wind streaks indicate that the dominant wind direction was from the southeast. Stars and Crawfords are on a rock outcrop located on top of “Home Plate.” The outcrop is informally named “James ‘Cool Papa’ Bell,” after a Negro League Baseball Hall of Famer who played for both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Kansas City Stars. To some science team members,the two brushed spots resemble the eyes of a face, with rocks below and between the eyes as a nose and layered rocks at the bottom of the image as a mouth.
You can find more fascinating images of Mars in Mars as Art actual images of Mars taken from orbit and from the planetary surface by visiting spacecraft. Five thousand images were nominated by scientist; forty-five were selected by a panel of professional artists, photographers, and photo editors. Every successful Mars mission since Viking is represented in this collection.
The Mars as Art exhibition showcases selected images returned by spacecraft from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). These images are chosen for their aesthetic rather than scientific value. The exhibit was unveiled on July 20, 2006, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Viking Landing.
You can learn more about Mars and missions to Mars in these Library resources:
- Science in Context – Mars
- Science Online
- Imaging: Real-Life Math Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2006. p262-268.
- Commercialization of Space: Mathematics
- Digital Images: Computer Sciences
- Destination Mars : new explorations of the Red Planet
- The case for Mars
- Martian summer
- Exploring Mars
- Life on Mars : poems
- NASA Mars Missions
- NASA Art
- International Association of Astronomical Artists: