(Photo: REUTERS / NASA)
Man will receive further information about Mars once NASA’s rover Curiosity reaches the so-called red planet in August next year, by which time Australia will celebrate a new milestone in Astronomy.
Man will receive further information about Mars once NASA's rover Curiosity reaches the so-called red planet in August next year, by which time Australia will celebrate a new milestone in Astronomy.
According to The Brisbane Times, Australians have a number of reasons to rejoice about the new NASA Mars exploration, which has been scheduled for launch next week.
Pinpointed by NASA as Curiosity's landing spot is a 150-kilometre crater named in 1991 as Gale, in honour of Sydney-based astronomer Walter Gale, whose informal training in a hobby loved led him to the discovery of seven comets.
A banker by profession, Gale, according to the Brisbane Times, was fascinated by Earth's nearest heavenly cousin and entertained notions that there may be life forms waiting to be discovered on Mars.
"He examined surface features of Mars, being first to note some, and was an ardent supporter of the suggestion of life on the planet," the publication said on Saturday.
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Gale died in 1945 but his legacy continues and soon enough, Mars crater bearing his name will provide answers to many questions about the not-so-distant plant by used of advanced technology deployed by NASA scientists with Curiosity.
Armed with 10 scientific instruments that include a laser guide for zeroing target locations and a two-metre arm for up-close probes, NASA said that Curiosity has been configured to look for traces of life on Martian rocks and soil.
NASA scientists added that Curiosity will also send back feeds on its observations about the weather patterns and radiation level in Mars, part of its crucial mission that is expected to last at least five years and cover 30 spots in the planet.
Yet apart from Curiosity's definite landing mark, which is connected to Australia, Sydney Observatory astronomer Nick Lomb that a 'landmark' found within the Gale crater carries a striking significance for the country.
Lomb said that a mountain in the crater, with an estimated peak of five kilometres, emits a striking similarity with the Australian map when observed from afar.
"Its resemblance to a map of Australia is uncanny ... and the fact it is named after an Australian and looks like Australia seems to be a complete coincidence," Lomb told The Brisbane Times.
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.com.au, the business news leader