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A moment in time

mars-momentWhen the New York Times’ Lens blog invited readers to send in photos capturing a moment in time – 1500 UTC Sunday, May 2 – they wrote: “Wherever you are, we hope you’ll have a camera — or a camera phone — in hand. And we hope you’ll be taking a picture to send to Lens that will capture this singular instant in whatever way you think would add to a marvelous global mosaic; a Web-built image of one moment in time across the world.”

Well, for the team behind NASA’s Mars rovers, the camera wasn’t actually in hand – or even on Earth. But when Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society suggested using the Opportunity rover to take a Martian image to submit, Cornell astronomer Jim Bell didn’t need much persuading.

“My immediate reaction when Emily suggested the idea was ‘Cool!'” Bell told Universe Today. “My second reaction was to wonder whether we’d be able to take the photo at the right time, given the low-power situation that Opportunity is in right now. Then my third through tenth reactions were ‘Cool!'”

Our reaction? Ditto.

– Lauren Gold

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