There are few things more beautiful to me than rocks and landscapes. I am not sure why. It may have something to do with my appreciation for fractal shapes and reoccurring patterns across multiple scales. To truly appreciate the picture in this story, you must have 3-D glasses. This picture is of the Claritas Fossae tectonic region on Mars, southeast of the Tharsis volcano group (of which the highest volcano in the known solar system, Olympus Mons, is a member). The picture was taken by ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft. There are several craters and great walls that appear to have material from erosion slumping down the sides, or so it seems to this geology novice. I’m sure there is a better explanation somewhere. I look forward to someday revisting this and other images on a huge wallscreen, and I can’t wait to see them through the eyes of a trained planetary scientist.
Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr). View all posts by Richard Leis