World’s Strangest

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Lincoln on Mars

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

I’ve been waiting for NASA’s rover Curiosity to land safely so I can
tell you that we now have Lincoln on Mars. Yes, Abraham Lincoln on the
Red Planet.

The penny, a 1909 "VDB"
penny, is used as a calibration
for the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument, which is
to be used to take extreme close-ups of rocks and soil. The penny, provided
by MAHLI’s principal investigator Ken Edgettt, is a nod to geologists’
tradition to place a coin as a size reference in close-up photos of rocks.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Besides the penny, the MAHLI
calibration target
includes color chips, a metric bar graphic, and
a stair-step pattern for depth calibration.

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August 7th, 2012

Stranger to the World


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