images of mars

Happy Martian New Year!

For any planet, a year is the time it takes to make one orbit around the sun. Because Mars is farther away from the sun, it has to travel a greater distance than Earth. It takes Mars about twice as long as it does for Earth to make one circle around the sun…therefore, a year on Mars lasts twice as long.

On May 5, Mars passes solar longitude 0 as the sun crosses the equator on Mars. This is the vernal equinox and was chosen by planetary scientists as the start of a new year.

Mars has four seasons, roughly twice as long as those on Earth, but with more variation given Mars’ eccentric orbit and the fact its orbital speed varies more as a result.

Did you know that there’s a U.S. city named Mars? Mars, PA hosts an annual Mars New Year celebration and we’re participating in this two-day science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event to inspire young people to pursue innovation and exploration.

More info on Mars, PA:

Get updated images from the events in Mars, PA here:

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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Reaching out into space yields benefits on Earth. Many of these have practical applications — but there’s something more than that. Call it inspiration, perhaps, what photographer Ansel Adams referred to as nature’s “endless prospect of magic and wonder." 

Our ongoing exploration of the solar system has yielded more than a few magical images. Why not keep some of them close by to inspire your own explorations? This week, we offer 10 planetary photos suitable for wallpapers on your desktop or phone. Find many more in our galleries. These images were the result of audacious expeditions into deep space; as author Edward Abbey said, "May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”

1. Martian Selfie

This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the robotic geologist in the “Murray Buttes” area on lower Mount Sharp. Key features on the skyline of this panorama are the dark mesa called “M12” to the left of the rover’s mast and pale, upper Mount Sharp to the right of the mast. The top of M12 stands about 23 feet (7 meters) above the base of the sloping piles of rocks just behind Curiosity. The scene combines approximately 60 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Most of the component images were taken on September 17, 2016.

2. The Colors of Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution, enhanced color view of Pluto on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). Pluto’s surface sports a remarkable range of subtle colors, enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. Many landforms have their own distinct colors, telling a complex geological and climatological story that scientists have only just begun to decode.

3. The Day the Earth Smiled

On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, our Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. This mosaic is special as it marks the third time our home planet was imaged from the outer solar system; the second time it was imaged by Cassini from Saturn’s orbit, the first time ever that inhabitants of Earth were made aware in advance that their photo would be taken from such a great distance.

4. Looking Back

Before leaving the Pluto system forever, New Horizons turned back to see Pluto backlit by the sun. The small world’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture. The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn’s moon Titan. The source of both hazes likely involves sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane, leading to relatively small, soot-like particles called tholins. This image was generated by combining information from blue, red and near-infrared images to closely replicate the color a human eye would perceive.

5. Catching Its Own Tail

A huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn’s northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from Cassini. This picture, captured on February 25, 2011, was taken about 12 weeks after the storm began, and the clouds by this time had formed a tail that wrapped around the planet. The storm is a prodigious source of radio noise, which comes from lightning deep within the planet’s atmosphere.

6. The Great Red Spot

Another massive storm, this time on Jupiter, as seen in this dramatic close-up by Voyager 1 in 1979. The Great Red Spot is much larger than the entire Earth.

7. More Stormy Weather

Jupiter is still just as stormy today, as seen in this recent view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, when it soared directly over Jupiter’s south pole on February 2, 2017, from an altitude of about 62,800 miles (101,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. From this unique vantage point we see the terminator (where day meets night) cutting across the Jovian south polar region’s restless, marbled atmosphere with the south pole itself approximately in the center of that border. This image was processed by citizen scientist John Landino. This enhanced color version highlights the bright high clouds and numerous meandering oval storms.

8. X-Ray Vision

X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by our Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by our Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The NuSTAR data, seen in green and blue, reveal solar high-energy emission. The high-energy X-rays come from gas heated to above 3 million degrees. The red channel represents ultraviolet light captured by SDO, and shows the presence of lower-temperature material in the solar atmosphere at 1 million degrees.

9. One Space Robot Photographs Another

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows Victoria crater, near the equator of Mars. The crater is approximately half a mile (800 meters) in diameter. It has a distinctive scalloped shape to its rim, caused by erosion and downhill movement of crater wall material. Since January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been operating in the region where Victoria crater is found. Five days before this image was taken in October 2006, Opportunity arrived at the rim of the crater after a drive of more than over 5 miles (9 kilometers). The rover can be seen in this image, as a dot at roughly the “ten o'clock” position along the rim of the crater. (You can zoom in on the full-resolution version here.)

10. Night Lights

Last, but far from least, is this remarkable new view of our home planet. Last week, we released new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. This composite image, one of three new full-hemisphere views, provides a view of the Americas at night from the NASA-NOAA Suomi-NPP satellite. The clouds and sun glint — added here for aesthetic effect — are derived from MODIS instrument land surface and cloud cover products.

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

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The signs as interesting space phenomena

If you like this whole mixing astronomy and astrology thing then also check out this post!

Aries: Gamma ray bursts

While gamma ray bursts are commonly though to be caused by supernovas (due to stars being the only known thing in the universe to cause enough energy for a gamma ray burst.) There is no actual proof that they are caused by stars.

Taurus: Shape of the universe

While it is generally perceived that the observable universe is spherical around us, it is also thought to be flat. As for the global universe, all we have are theories, and they are unproven.

Gemini: Space roar

This is a radio signal from space that can be translated into sound. It is six time louder than the output of old stars and there is still no explanation for where it is coming from or why it is so loud.

Cancer: Mars crab

Given the ready availability of high quality images of Mars, people are discovering all types of unexpected things. One of them is what appears to be a red crab. Scientists dismiss this as just seeing familiarity ini images but you have to wonder, are they wrong?

Leo: The size of the universe

The universe has been expanding ever since it’s beginning 13.8 billion years ago. Astronomers estimate the diameter of the universe to be about 91 billion light-years, but that’s merely an estimate.

Virgo: The formation of our solar system

Our solar system has four inner planets with metallic cores and rocky exteriors, and four mostly gaseous outer planets with extreme temperatures. It is unknown how that came to be and at the moment random chance is just as valid of a guess as any other. Once the formation of solar systems is studied more we may be able to understand the formation of ours better.

Libra: Why is the Sun’s Corona so Hot

The sun’s corona is a region of plasma surrounding the sun and extending outward for millions of kilometers. This region of space is actually much hotter than the Sun itself, on the order of 150 – 450 times hotter. Their is no consensus among scientists as to why it is so hot.

Scorpio: The Next Meteorite Extinction Event

Approximately 66 million years ago, a huge meteorite 6 miles in diameter is thought to have struck the Earth, killing the dinosaurs. 80,000 years ago a 60 ton meteorite struck the Earth. Most meteoroids are small and burn up when entering Earth’s atmosphere. However, five to ten per year are sufficiently large enough to be observed and recovered, although certainly there are others which fall into remote locations. Scientists are beginning to track the large known asteroids that could strike Earth, but many unknown and uncharted objects remain in our solar system. No one knows exactly when the next meteorite extinction event will occur.

Sagittarius: The color and size of Jupiter’s storm

While we know that yes, it is the “great red spot” and it is currently tinted a orangish shade and that three Earths could fit inside of this giant storm. What we don’t know is why it has been shifting colors and why it has been shrinking.

Capricorn: Dark energy and the expansion of the universe

Our current understanding of gravity predicts that all large celestial bodies attract each other and smaller objects. But it appears that most space objects are moving further apart. Dark energy is theorized to be the force causing the expansion of the universe. It is hypothesized that this makes up 70% of space but dark energy has never actually been detected.

Aquarius: Alien star

KIC 8462852 is a strange star that has odd patterns in its light output. One explanation for the light flickering we observe is orbiting alien superstructures. These orbiting objects are hypothesized to be so large they block our detection of the star’s light for short periods. Astronomers think these massive structures could have huge solar panels affixed to them to harvest the star’s energy.

Pisces: A multiverse

External image

Scientists are pointing to data gathered by the Planck telescope as proof that our universe is just one of many. The Planck telescope detects the background cosmic radiation in the universe. This background radiation was expected to be relatively uniform, but instead it has hot and cold spots. These spots are thought to be caused by the pull of other universes on our universe.

Innovation at 100

Air travel, spaceflight, robotic solar-system missions: science fiction to those alive at the turn of the 20th century became science fact to those living in the 21st. 

America’s aerospace future has been literally made at our Langley Research Center by the best and brightest the country can offer. Here are some of the many highlights from a century of ingenuity and invention.

Making the Modern Airplane

In times of peace and war, Langley helped to create a better airplane, including unique wing shapes, sturdier structures, the first engine cowlings, and drag cleanup that enabled the Allies to win World War II.

In 1938 Langley mounted the navy’s Brewster XF2A-1 Buffalo in the Full-Scale Tunnel for drag reduction studies.

Wind Goes to Work

Langley broke new ground in aeronautical research with a suite of first-of-their-kind wind tunnels that led to numerous advances in commercial, military and vertical flight, such as helicopters and other rotorcraft. 

Airflow turning vanes in Langley’s 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel.

Aeronautics Breakthroughs

Aviation Hall of Famer Richard Whitcomb’s area rule made practical jet flight a reality and, thanks to his development of winglets and the supercritical wing, enabled jets to save fuel and fly more efficiently.

Richard Whitcomb examines a model aircraft incorporating his area rule.

Making Space

Langley researchers laid the foundation for the U.S. manned space program, played a critical role in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, and developed the lunar-orbit rendezvous concept that made the Moon landing possible.

Neil Armstrong trained for the historic Apollo 11 mission at the Lunar Landing Research Facility,

Safer Air Above and Below

Langley research into robust aircraft design and construction, runway safety grooving, wind shear, airspace management and lightning protection has aimed to minimize, even eliminate air-travel mishaps

NASA’s Boeing 737 as it approached a thunderstorm during microburst wind shear research in Colorado in 1992.

Tracking Earth from Aloft

Development by Langley of a variety of satellite-borne instrumentation has enabled real-time monitoring of planet-wide atmospheric chemistry, air quality, upper-atmosphere ozone concentrations, the effects of clouds and air-suspended particles on climate, and other conditions affecting Earth’s biosphere.

Crucial Shuttle Contributions

Among a number of vital contributions to the creation of the U.S. fleet of space shuttles, Langley developed preliminary shuttle designs and conducted 60,000 hours of wind tunnel tests to analyze aerodynamic forces affecting shuttle launch, flight and landing.

Space Shuttle model in the Langley wind tunnel.

Decidedly Digital

Helping aeronautics transition from analog to digital, Langley has worked on aircraft controls, glass cockpits, computer-aided synthetic vision and a variety of safety-enhancing onboard sensors to better monitor conditions while airborne and on the ground.

Aerospace research engineer Kyle Ellis uses computer-aided synthetic vision technology in a flight deck simulator.

Fast, Faster, Fastest

Langley continues to study ways to make higher-speed air travel a reality, from about twice the speed of sound – supersonic – to multiple times: hypersonic.

Langley continues to study ways to make higher-speed air travel a reality, from about twice the speed of sound – supersonic – to multiple times: hypersonic.

Safer Space Sojourns

Protecting astronauts from harm is the aim of Langley’s work on the Orion Launch Abort System, while its work on materials and structures for lightweight and affordable space transportation and habitation will keep future space travelers safe.

Unmasking the Red Planet

Beginning with its leadership role in Project Viking, Langley has helped to unmask Martian mysteries with a to-date involvement in seven Mars missions, with participation in more likely to come.

First image of Mars taken by Viking 1 Lander.

Touchdown Without Terror

Langley’s continued work on advanced entry, descent and landing systems aims to make touchdowns on future planetary missions routinely safe and secure.

Artist concept of NASA’s Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator - an entry, descent and landing technology.

Going Green

Helping to create environmentally benign aeronautical technologies has been a focus of Langley research, including concepts to reduce drag, weight, fuel consumption, emissions, and lessen noise.

Intrepid Inventors

With a history developing next-generation composite structures and components, Langley innovators continue to garner awards for a variety of aerospace inventions with a wide array of terrestrial applications.

Boron Nitride Nanotubes: High performance, multi-use nanotube material.

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gwen: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 22nd August 2007.

Image runs southwest from 71°S 56°E, just south of the Dorsa Brevia, to 80°S 34°E, just west of the Promethei Rupes; about 615 km. The dunes (dark blue) in the 4th image are inside Main Crater (Robert Main, astronomer, 1808-1878).

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and one monochrome image for detail. Colours are relative, not naturalistic.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

Astrology Keywords & Compatibility

Aries ~ Self, Intuition, Direct

Leo ~ Act, Passion, Express

Sagittarius ~ Perceive, Wisdom, Receive

Libra ~ Beauty, Scale, Balance

Aquarius ~ Unique, Logic, Hollow

Gemini ~ Thought, Exchange, Quick

Capricorn ~ Skeleton, Observe, React

Taurus ~ Heart, Judgement, Solid

Virgo ~ Brain, Critique, Analytical

Cancer ~ Spirit, Sensitivity, Mystic

Scorpio ~ Core, Intensity, Pressure

Pisces ~ Psyche, Fluidity, Transcendent

Sun ~ Ego, Personality, Masculine
(Sign Ruler: Leo)

Moon ~ Mood, Emotion, Feminine
(Sign Ruler: Cancer)

Mercury ~ Mind, Communication, Both
(Sign Ruler: Gemini & Virgo)

Venus ~ Love, Attraction, Feminine
(Sign Ruler: Libra & Taurus)

Mars ~ Energy, Drive, Masculine
(Sign Ruler: Aries)

Jupiter ~ Expansion, Luck, Masculine
(Sign Ruler: Sagittarius)

Saturn ~ Restrictions, Fears, Masculine
(Sign Ruler: Capricorn)

Uranus ~ Change, Originality, Masculine
(Sign Ruler: Aquarius)

Neptune ~ Dreams, Healing, Feminine
(Sign Ruler: Pieces)

Pluto ~ Power, Transformation, Masculine
(Sign Ruler: Scorpio)

1st ~ Self-Image, Ascendant, Rising, Identity
(Aries & Mars House)

2nd ~ Body, Possessions, Self-Worth, Money
(Taurus & Venus House)

3rd ~ Speaking, Communication, Environment, Writing
(Gemini & Mercury House)

4th ~ Family, Home, Roots, Security
(Cancer & Moon House)

5th ~ Self-Expression, Creativity, Romance, Entertainment
(Leo & Sun House)

6th ~ Work, Health, Routine, Service
(Virgo & Mercury House)

7th ~ Partnership, Marriage, Descendant, Competitors
(Libra & Venus House)

8th ~ Sexuality, Transformation, Inheritance, Death
(Scorpio & Pluto House)

9th ~ Belief System, Higher Learning, Adventure, Travel
(Sagittarius & Jupiter House)

10th ~ Career, Midheaven, Reputation, Responsibility
(Capricorn & Saturn House)

11th ~ Aspirations, Wishes, Groups, Organizations
(Aquarius & Uranus House)

12th ~ Karma, Undoing, Secrets, Talents
(Pisces & Neptune House)

Fire ~ Vital, Extrovert, Positive, Independent, Reactive, Masculine
(Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)

Air ~ Mental, Extrovert, Positive, Bias, Rational, Masculine
(Libra, Aquarius, Gemini)

Earth ~ Physical, Introvert, Negative, Independent, Rational, Feminine
(Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo)

Water ~ Emotional, Introvert, Negative, Bias, Reactive, Feminine
(Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

Cardinal ~ Leader, Initiator
(Aries, Libra, Capricorn, Cancer)

Fixed ~ Static, Strength
(Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, Scorpio)

Mutable ~ Follower, Adapter
(Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo, Pisces)

Compatible Signs:
Fire + Fire

Fire + Air

Air + Air

Earth + Earth

Earth + Water

Water + Water

Cardinal + Fixed

Fixed + Mutable

Mutable + Cardinal

Cardinal + Fixed + Mutable

Incompatible Signs:
Fire + Water or Earth

Air + Earth or Water

Earth + Fire or Air

Water + Air or Fire

Cardinal + Cardinal

Fixed + Fixed

Mutable + Mutable

Opposite/Match Signs:
Aries + Libra

Leo + Aquarius

Sagittarius + Gemini

Capricorn + Cancer

Taurus + Scorpio

Virgo + Pisces

Originally posted by ufo-the-truth-is-out-there

Cheat Sheets: Mars - Will Power and Sex Drive

When I want something I am…

Mars in Aries: Direct, assertive, straightforward, aggressive, dominant

Mars in Taurus: Patient, stubborn, hardworking, goal-oriented

Mars in Gemini: Versatile, cunning, clever, quick

Mars in Cancer: Manipulative, shrewd, careful, possessive

Mars in Leo: Dramatic, determined, charming, stubborn

Mars in Virgo: Calculated, cunning, clever, determined

Mars in Libra: Fair, considerate, flattering, flirtatious, charming

Mars in Scorpio: Powerful, determined, cunning, brooding

Mars in Sagittarius: Blunt, straightforward, intense, feisty

Mars in Capricorn: Clever, fair, cunning, hard working

Mars in Aquarius: Intellectual, thoughtful, stubborn, rebellious

Mars in Pisces: Charming, idealistic, flattering, versatile, manipulative

I express this most through…

Mars in the 1st House: My identity, my overall presence

Mars in the 2nd House: The things that make me feel secure

Mars in the 3rd House: The way I express my thoughts

Mars in the 4th House: My inner self, the way I was brought up

Mars in the 5th House: The way I express my creativity

Mars in the 6th House: The way I do things for other people

Mars in the 7th House: My relationships with other people

Mars in the 8th House: The way I assert my power and express my sexuality

Mars in the 9th House: The way I approach the world and stand for my beliefs

Mars in the 10th House: My reputation and public image

Mars in the 11th House: How I assert myself in society 

Mars in the 12th House: My hidden self, my unconscious motives

Astrological Magic Series

My series on astrological magic is now complete. There are thirteen posts total, each of them thoroughly discussing different concepts which are important to the effective practice of these arts. They don’t proceed in exactly the order you’ll need the information in, and I apologize for that, but I also don’t think it will be a problem. You should really make sure to carefully read the information in each of these posts before attempting to carry out this kind of work, in order to be sure that you’ve covered your bases and taken the appropriate precautions. Below is a list of all the posts in the series. I hope they are helpful to you. You’re welcome to ask us if you have any questions at all.

The Moon (and Sun)

Saturn and Mars

Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury

The Ascendant

Uses of the Decans

Parts (also known as Lots)

Image Theory I

Image Theory II

Master List of things Ruled by the Planets, Signs, and Fixed Stars

Lunar Nodes, Planetary Days and Hours, Names and Spirits of Times and Bodies

A Very Effective Method of Drawing a Circle

Consecration, Prayers, and Ritual Theory

Conclusion (Aspects, Other Loose Ends, and a Step-By-Step Walkthrough)

Thank you very much for reading. If you found this series interesting, please consider checking out Benefica’s series on the court cards in Tarot, and if you’re interested, check back soon for our upcoming series on the creation and use of talismans (which will be a collaboration between Benefica and myself).


Daybreak at Gale Crater

This computer-generated images depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight, with an area including Gale Crater, beginning to catch morning light.

Gale Crater is 96 miles (154 kilometers) in diameter and holds a layered mountain rising about 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor. The intended landing site is at 4.5 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech