The above image is from the latest release from the context camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which, Emily reports, has now covered 20% of Mars at a resolution of 6m per pixel. Ironic that this should come out just after I’d written about faces on Mars for the BBC, but it does fit with my being told to be more cheerful about the observing run. So, reasons to be cheerful :
1. I’ve made it up the mountain; not to the summit just yet, but close enough to get there if a miracle happens and we get a clear night tonight (it’s currently 6.15am on Wednesday, local time).
2. I have no excuse for getting a large percentage of the things on my ‘to-do’ list done. Have internet connection, will travel.
3. The new instruments on both JCMT and UKIRT are performing brilliantly. HARP – essentially a 3d camera for the sub-mm – is a joy to use, and I’ve already written this year about the survey that UKIRT’s new camera has produced.
4. Cloudy observing runs mean an excuse to come back.
5. The residence up here, Hale Pohaku, has ice cream available 24 hours a day. With proper cones and everything.