Friday, January 4, 2013

Explore MARS / NASA Photos + Champagne Mixed Drink Ideas + Mars Facts

Below the horizon in the right half of the scene, you’ll notice the interior of Endeavour Crater. Formed after a meteorite blasted the planet billions of years ago, the crater is where scientists found both gypsum deposits and high concentrations of zinc. Together, they suggest that shallow water once existed there.


“The Next Best Thing to Being There.”

NASA shares a MARS photo essay. Start planning your vacation there!

NASA has a catalog of stunning panoramic images of Mars. The scenes reveal the planet’s desolate terrain in remarkable detail, capturing everything from the rover's tracks, to wind-blown drifts, to a crater that holds evidence of ancient water.
The images are composite photographs snapped by the "Pancam", a mast-mounted panoramic camera, on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity." NASA presents many images in false color to show the different elements of the landscape.
NASA released images based on several milestones in the history of Martian exploration: over 3,000 days of "Opportunity" probing Mars, and aniversary of NASA's robot explorers on Mars. The rover "Pathfinder" first landed on Mars in 1997. 

The rover extracts a mineral sample from a Martian rock.

This image taken from orbit shows the path of the path driven by NASA's Mars Exploration
Rover "Opportunity" in the weeks around the rover's arrival at the rim of Endeavour crater. The sol number (number of Martian days since the rover landed on Mars) are indicated along the route. Sol 2674 corresponds to Aug. 2, 2011; Sol 2688 corresponds to Aug. 16, 2011.

"Opportunity" has taken a route which lead to a rock informally named "Tisdale 2," which is a block of material ejected by a meteor surface impact which created a small crater named "Odyssey" on the Endeavour rim fragment called "Cape York." The next Endeavour rim fragment to the south is called "Sutherland Point," and a gap between Cape York and Sutherland Point is called "Botany Bay."

Image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, on July 23, 2010. Other image products from this observation are available at 

(below) NASA moch-up of Mars Curiosity Rover as seen in Washington DC.

(Source - images by: NASA; JPL-CalTech; University of Arizona; Arts n Food staff photographs)

Learn more about Mars in our Postscript section at the bottom of this issue.


Champagne Drinks!

Do you have extra champagne left over from your New Year's Celebrations? Here are some ideas for mixed drinks made with champagne.


Shot of peach puree, a few blueberries, muddle & add champagne

Shot of grapefruit juice, sprig of mint, muddle & add champagne

Shot of Chambord liqueur, raspberries, muddle, place candied ginger on rim & add champagne.

Cranberry Juice & Champagne
Pour cranberry juice in bottom of flute, float champagne on top

Jam & Champagne
Use any flavor of jam, thin with a small amount of water, until liquid. Then pour a small amt. in the bottom of a flute and combine with champagne.

French 75
2 ounces London dry gin
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/2 ounce lemon juice
5 ounces Brut champagne

Shake well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a Collins glass half-full of cracked ice and top off with champagne.

(The 75-millimeter M1897 was a relatively light gun, with a vicious rate of fire. It was the mainstay of the French field artillery in World War I. "The French 75.")

Atomic Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces brandy
1 teaspoon sherry
1 1/2 ounces champagne

Stir the vodka, brandy, and sherry well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add 1 1/2 to 2 ounces cold champagne. 

Sparkling Punch
1/2 cup sugar
1 bottle red burgundy
4 ounces brandy
2 bottles champagne
1 quart sparkling water
2 orange(s)

In a punch bowl, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar (or less to taste) in the red burgundy. Add the brandy, stir, and pour in the champagne and the sparkling water. Place a block of ice in the bowl, decorate the top of the ice with strawberries or raspberries. Cut the oranges into thin wheels and float in the punch.

Military Punch Bowl
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 quart and 1 cup water
4 ounces dark rum
1 1/2 cups brandy
1 bottle Brut champagne

Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and water, pour in the rum and brandy, and let stand for half an hour or so in a cool place for flavors to blend. When ready to serve, pour in the champagne and cool the bowl with a block of ice.

1/2 ounce cognac or another brandy
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
4 ounces Brut champagne

Pour cognac, or another brandy and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute, top off with champagne.

Barbotage 2
1 teaspoon grenadine
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce orange juice
brut champagne

Mix 1 teaspoon grenadine; 1/2 ounce lemon juice; and 1 ounce orange juice. Shake up with ice and strain mix into a champagne flute. Top with champagne.

Black Velvet: Guinness stout + Brut champagne 
Half-fill a Collins glass with Guinness stout and top off slowly with champagne. Stir gently with a rod.

Fill a champagne flute 2/3 full of fresh-squeezed orange juice and top off with brut champagne. Add slice of orange on the edge of the flute, then drop in a cherry.

Champagne Cocktail 
Place a sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute, wet it with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura or Peychaud's bitters, fill the glass with champagne and squeeze a lemon twist on top and drop in!

You can replace the bitters with absinthe and float a tablespoon or so of cognac on top.

(Source: Above recipes have been adapted from many sources)

Until later,

Postscript: MARS info!

Mars's average distance from the Sun is roughly 143 million miles and its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days as depicted by the red trail, with Earth's orbit shown in blue.
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun (Earth is the third) and Mars is the second smallest planet in the Solar System
Mars: the Beige Planet.
Size comparison of Earth and Mars.
Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the "Red Planet", because of a reddish appearance created by red dust in its atmosphere. It is actually more of a beige color. 
Exploration: In addition to observation from Earth, some of the latest Mars information comes from five active probes on or in-orbit around Mars - including three orbiters and two rovers. This includes 2001 Mars OdysseyMars ExpressMars Reconnaissance OrbiterOpportunity rover, and Curiosity rover. (The latest, Curiosity Rover, reached Mars on August 6, 2012 and has a movement rate up to 300 ft per hour. Experiments include a laser chemical sampler that can deduce the make-up of rocks at a distance of 23 ft.)
An exploded photo map of Mars taken from Hubble Space Telescope near its 1999 close orbit.
Until the first successful Mars flyby in 1965 by Mariner 4, many speculated about the presence of liquid water on the planet's surface. This was based on observed periodic variations in light and dark patches, particularly in the polar latitudes, which appeared to be seas and continents; long, dark striations were interpreted by some as irrigation channels (canals) for liquid water. These straight line features were later explained as optical illusions, though geological evidence gathered by unmanned missions. These suggest that Mars once had large-scale water coverage on its surface. In 2005, radar data revealed the presence of large quantities of water ice at the poles and at mid-latitudes. The Mars rover Spirit sampled chemical compounds containing water molecules in March 2007. The Phoenix lander directly sampled water ice in shallow Martian soil on July 31, 2008.
"Nanedi Valles"
A Martian channel (canal).
Curiosity rover at "Rocknest"
(October 31, 2012),
with the rim of Gale Crater and
the slopes of Aeolis Mons in the distance

Mars still hosts five functioning spacecraft: three in orbit—the Mars OdysseyMars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; and two on the surface—Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. Defunct spacecraft on the surface include MER-A Spirit, and several other inert landers and rovers, both successful and unsuccessful, such as the Phoenix lander, which completed its mission in 2008. Observations by NASA's now-defunct Mars Global Surveyor show evidence that parts of the southern polar ice cap have been receding. Observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars.
The atmosphere of Mars is visible
on the horizon in this low-orbit photo.

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere Of all the planets in the Solar System, the seasons of Mars are the most Earth-like, due to the similar tilts of the two planets' rotational axes. The lengths of the Martian seasons are about twice those of Earth's, as Mars's greater distance from the Sun leads to the Martian year being about two Earth years long. Martian surface temperatures vary from lows of about −143 °C (−225 °F) (at the winter polar caps) to highs of up to 35 °C (95 °F) (in equatorial summer). The wide range in temperatures is due to the thin atmosphere which cannot store much solar heat, the low atmospheric pressure, and the low thermal inertia of Martian soil. The planet is also 1.52 times as far from the Sun as Earth, resulting in just 43% of the amount of sunlight. 
Martian Volcano: "Olympus Mons"
Mars has surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of EarthMars is the site of Olympus Mons, the second highest known mountain within the Solar System (the tallest on a planet), and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature.

Mars can easily be seen from Earth with the naked eye and has approximately half the diameter of Earth. It is less dense than Earth, having about 15% of Earth's volume and 11% of the mass. Its surface area is only slightly less than the total area of Earth's dry land. While Mars is larger and more massive than Mercury, Mercury has a higher density. This results in the two planets having a nearly identical gravitational pull at the surface—that of Mars is stronger by less than 1%. The red-orange appearance of the Martian surface is caused by iron(III) oxide, more commonly known as hematite, or rust. It can also look butterscotch, and other common surface colors include golden, brown, tan, and greenish, depending on minerals.
Habitability: The German space agency discovered Earth lichens do survive in simulated Mars conditions. The simulation based temperatures, atmospheric pressure, minerals, and light on data from Mars probes. An instrument called REMS is designed to provide new clues about the signature of the Martian general circulation, microscale weather systems, local hydrological cycle, destructive potential of UV radiation, and subsurface habitability based on ground-atmosphere interaction; and landed on Mars as part of Curiosity (MSL) in August 2012. Microrganisms make up 80% of Earth's biomass.
"Phobos" Martian moon
"Deimos" Martian moon 
Mars has two relatively small natural moons: Phobos and DeimosMars may have additional moons smaller than 50–100 meters, and a dust ring is predicted between Phobos and Deimos. 
The origin of the two moons is not well understood. Their low albedo and carbonaceous chondrite composition have been regarded as similar to asteroids, supporting the capture theory. The unstable orbit of Phobos would seem to point towards a relatively recent capture. But both have circular orbits, very near the equator, which is very unusual for captured objects and the required capture dynamics are complex. Accretion early in the history of Mars is also plausible, but would not account for a composition resembling asteroids rather than Mars itself, if that is confirmed.
Phobos rises in the west, sets in the east, and rises again in just 11 hours. Deimos, being only just outside synchronous orbit—where the orbital period would match the planet's period of rotation—rises in the east but very slowly. Despite the 30 hour orbit of Deimos, 2.7 days elapse between its rise and set for an equatorial observer, as it slowly falls behind the rotation of Mars.

Panorama of Gusev crater, where Spirit rover examined volcanic basalts.

The Mars Global Surveyor mission, launched in 1996 and operated until late 2006, that allowed complete, extremely detailed maps of the Martian topography, magnetic field and surface minerals.

(Source for text & photos in this postscript: Wikipedia)

ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness, the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

1 comment:

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