Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Alien Landscapes

I just love the Encounter and Spirit rover photos from Mars, like this one. They remind us that other landscapes are also alien. They are spooky precisely because they don't resemble the world we know and our animal brains react to that.

While you're at it, take a look at these landscape photos from Venus. Donald Mitchell took the original telemetry from Russian probes of the Seventies and applied modern tools and techniques to the data. His results are startling. And, once again, alien. Remember, the air pressure here is equivalent to being at the bottom of the ocean and the temperatures are about 500 degrees; the atmosphere is a sulphurous acid bath, which is why probes don't survive long.

No comments: