Microscopic hairs on strange skin also came to mind :-)
This amazing image is in fact a photograph which shows dark sand emerging on the surface
of the red planet as some of the ice covered dunes melt in the warmth of the spring sunshine.
This classic view of Mars was taken by HiRISE one of the most incredible cameras working in space.This camera rides on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and produces feasts of data and true beauty to share with all of us.
Kevin Nolan in Dunsink Observatory
The Irish Astronomical Societies first speaker of the year was Kevin Nolan , and what a treat that was. Kevin spoke passionately about his chosen subject Mars a Cosmic Stepping Stone the title of his talk, and his very comprehensive book on the subject. Kevin's explanations about the surface geology of Mars was fascinating. Just before his talk his very kindly agreed to a short impromptu interview , you can listen to it below .
We were very lucky to have a clear sky later , to enjoy a look at Mars through the Grubb telescope. The north polar cap was very clear , but the seeing was poor / hazy so other features were tentative. However it was once again a pleasure to observe from Dunsink , a great way to end an evening. That's Kevin looking at Mars in the photo. Kevin Nolans book Mars a Cosmic Stepping Stone is available in Hodges Figgis , Waterstones and online via Amazon
February 15th the IAS speaker in Dunsink is