Oct 24, 2004

I've been to Mars, have you?

I decided yesterday that I wanted to find a picture of Mars to use here, so I started Googling. Almost immediately I saw images from the "Haughton-Mars Project", which is a NASA-sponsored effort to use an island in the Canadian Arctic for testing equipment and techniques that may be used on an eventual trip to the Red Planet. The island is Devon Island, and the area they are using is the edge of the Haughton Crater which is the remains of a very large meteor impact 23 million years ago. It's way up in the Arctic and is considered the closest equivalent to Mars that can be found here on Earth in terms of climate and landscape.

The funny thing is that I've actually been to this desolate and remote place, although not to the area this project is using. I spent the summer of 1986 helping to map the geology of the north end of this fascinating and beautiful (in a Martian kind of way) island. Amongst other claims to fame it is the largest un-occupied island on Earth. Most of it is only accessible by helicopter, and that is after a series of flights in successively smaller airplanes. Perhaps some day I'll post a few of my old photos.

Nice picture of Not Mars. It's actually summer in the Canadian High Arctic! Colours adjusted by original artist to match Martian lighting. The real thing is mostly grays and light browns. Note tiny astronaut-wannabes in lower right...

1 comment:

  1. Bad Kitty is moving!! New URL: http://www.melissasays.blogspot.com