Mars Curiosity Looks Up, Sees a Crescent Moon

By Alexis C. Madrigal

Phobos hanging in the sky

moonshot.jpg

If there's one thing about space travel that's always enchanted me, it's the idea of looking up into a different sky. Not to reveal too much about my inner nerd, but I may or may not have watched a few hundred episodes of Star Trek: TNG in the lazy Sunday hours after the football games ended. (Oh, Channel 12! The mysteries of your programming choices! Was Weird Al secretly selecting your programs?) The best part, for me, was when they beamed down to a new planet and you'd see two suns in the sky, or a huge planet close by, or ... an unfamiliar moon.

This photograph taken by the Mars Curiosity Rover shows the Martian moon, Phobos, in the upper right quadrant above. A faint crescent hanging in the sky. (That black speck to its left is a bad pixel, FYI.) I know Curiosity's job is to do science, but I just want it to explore on our behalf, to be our eyes, to look up.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/mars-curiosity-looks-up-sees-a-crescent-moon/262904/