JPL: More amazing by the day.

[Image: Curiosity reveals its Morse code, courtesy of NASA].
Turns out the Mars Curiosity Rover (and its creators/ maintainers) are even more awesome than we thought:

From a JPL press release:

“Careful inspection of the tracks reveals a unique, repeating pattern, which the rover can use as a visual reference to drive more accurately in barren terrain. The pattern is Morse code for JPL, the abbreviation for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where the rover was designed and built, and the mission is managed.”


I am star parts.

And so are you.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit recently uploaded a gallery of photos to the Johnson Space Center’s Flickr page. Pettit on how he captured these amazing images:

“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, the ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”


–From Retina: “Retina is your destination for the best visuals from the pages of Smithsonian and around the web. Ryan Reed, the magazine’s multimedia producer, is your curator.”