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Life on Mars: NASA reveals last Mars 'remarkable' panorama shot sent by Opportunity rover – Express.co.uk

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Before its circuits ran cold in the shadow of a Martian dust storm, NASA‘s Opportunity rover took one long look at its surroundings and saved it for posterity. The image represents a poignant conclusion to the rover’s mission; a detailed panorama combining the most recent tracks of its marathon journey with a glimpse of the sands it would never touch. Opportunity wasn’t intended to run as long as it did.

A mere 90 days eventually stretched into 15 solid years of rolling over the Martian sands, pumping out snapshots like a tourist who’s forgotten all about their retirement.

The 360-degree image was taken from the rover’s final resting place in May last year.

Over 29 days, Opportunity soaked up its surroundings in a series of 354 individual snapshots before beaming them back to NASA for piecing together.

While most of them provide a colourful view of the landscape, the handful of black and white blocks in the corner were taken with fading energy, denying Opportunity the time it needed to capture the last of the scene in shades of green and violet.

READ MORE: Terrifying true scale of black holes with mass of ’20 billion suns’

John Callas from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said: “This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery.

“To the right of centre you can see the rim of Endeavor Crater rising in the distance.

“Just to the left of that, rover tracks begin their descent from over the horizon and weave their way down to geologic features that our scientists wanted to examine up close.

“And to the far right and left are the bottom of Perseverance Valley and the floor of Endeavour crater, pristine and unexplored, waiting for visits from future explorers.”

Opportunity’s historic mission, which uncovered signs of Mars’s watery past and transformed our understanding of the Red Planet, finally came to an end after 15 years in February.

The cause was system failure precipitated by power loss during a catastrophic, planet-wide dust storm that engulfed the Mars rover last summer.

At the time, Mr Callas said: ”It’s going to be very sad to say goodbye.

“But at the same time, we’ve got to remember this has been 15 years of incredible adventure.”

Opportunity’s mission was planned to last just 90 days, but it worked for 5,000 Martian “sols” (which are about 39 minutes longer than an Earth day) and traversed more than 28 treacherous miles — two records for NASA.

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B.C. Halloween forecast: Frightfully chilly under a spooky full moon – Vancouver Sun

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While the weather is expected to be frightfully cold in much of B.C. this Halloween, those who venture outdoors may be in for a treat.

A rare full “blue” moon is expected Saturday night, the second full moon this month.

The last time trick-or-treaters went out under a full moon in B.C. was in 2001, but the last Halloween full moon in all time zones was in 1944, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

© Gideon Knight_Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Young Grand title young winner Featuring: The moon and the crow. Photo by CB2/ZOB /Gideon Knight/Wildlife Photograp

As for the weather, if you’re in Metro Vancouver it’s likely going to be clear and sunny during the day with a high of 11 C, and then partly cloudy at night with a low of 5 C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Elsewhere in B.C., the Prince George and Williams Lake areas should see a mix of sun and cloud with a high of around 4 or 5 C and an overnight low of 2 C, while in the Okanagan it will likely be overcast and 10 C, dipping down to 4 C overnight with a slight chance of showers.

In the northern region of Dease Lake, the forecast looks for sunny during the day and freezing at night, plunging to minus 7 C overnight.

In the central B.C. region, some communities may have snow Saturday. The agency is forecasting a good chance of flurries in Smithers during the day but showers overnight.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

More to come …

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Elusive and extremely rare catshark captured in amazing video – CNET

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This short-tail catshark (Parmaturus bigus), seen at the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, is a rare sight.


Schmidt Ocean video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Great whites might be the jumbo stars of the shark world, but there are some equally fascinating members on the other side of the size spectrum. The crew of the research vessel Falkor experienced the wonders of the deep when it spotted “one of the rarest species of sharks in the world” during a recent Schmidt Ocean Institute mission.

Shark expert Will White with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science research agency, identified the short-tail catshark Parmaturus bigus from footage captured during an exploration of the Great Barrier Reef on Oct. 17. Falkor’s remotely operated submersible SuBastian got a good look at the big-eyed creature. 

Though you can chill out and enjoy the hours of underwater footage and scientific commentary, the shark appears a little over two hours into this video. “It’s a shark!” the scientists comment as they zoom in.

Researchers have collected only one specimen of Parmaturus bigus, which is held in the Australian National Fish Collection. The one spotted lounging on the sand was a male estimated to be around 20 inches (50 cm) long. The remotely operated vehicle was able to follow it as it swam off.

Even better, the ocean researchers discovered they had filmed another specimen during a dive back in May but hadn’t identified it at the time. The team also found footage of an egg case from the short-tail catshark, giving scientists a wealth of new information about the species and its habitat.

“Through the efforts of the Falkor team, we now have three more records of one of the world’s rarest sharks,” Schmidt Ocean said in a statement Monday, including “the first footage of a living specimen.”

Schmidt Ocean expeditions have gifted us some extraordinary views of the marvels of the deep in recent years, from a stunningly bizarre siphonophore to a wild “benthic tornado.” The catshark fits in beautifully with this impressive track record of discovery.

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'One of the rarest species of shark in the world' captured in amazing video – CNET

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This short-tail catshark (Parmaturus bigus), seen at the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, is a rare sight.


Schmidt Ocean video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Great whites might be the jumbo stars of the shark world, but there are some equally fascinating members on the other side of the size spectrum. The crew of the research vessel Falkor experienced the wonders of the deep when it spotted “one of the rarest species of sharks in the world” during a recent Schmidt Ocean Institute mission.

Shark expert Will White with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science research agency, identified the short-tail catshark Parmaturus bigus from footage captured during an exploration of the Great Barrier Reef on Oct. 17. Falkor’s remotely operated submersible SuBastian got a good look at the big-eyed creature. 

Though you can chill out and enjoy the hours of underwater footage and scientific commentary, the shark appears a little over two hours into this video. “It’s a shark!” the scientists comment as they zoom in.

Researchers have collected only one specimen of Parmaturus bigus, which is held in the Australian National Fish Collection. The one spotted lounging on the sand was a male estimated to be around 20 inches (50 cm) long. The remotely operated vehicle was able to follow it as it swam off.

Even better, the ocean researchers discovered they had filmed another specimen during a dive back in May but hadn’t identified it at the time. The team also found footage of an egg case from the short-tail catshark, giving scientists a wealth of new information about the species and its habitat.

“Through the efforts of the Falkor team, we now have three more records of one of the world’s rarest sharks,” Schmidt Ocean said in a statement Monday, including “the first footage of a living specimen.”

Schmidt Ocean expeditions have gifted us some extraordinary views of the marvels of the deep in recent years, from a stunningly bizarre siphonophore to a wild “benthic tornado.” The catshark fits in beautifully with this impressive track record of discovery.

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