Contributed by
Jun 20, 2006
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The Pancam is a camera on both of the Mars rovers. Almost all the way cool images from the martian surface have been taken by these cameras, from shots of the craters and gullies to images of the sky above Mars.

The Pancam project has been posting images from the cameras, and there are some really phenomenal ones there, including the image above, which is a time lapse sequence of Earth and Jupiter rising before dawn. Even better: they created an animated gif of the motion! Very cool. Remember-- that speck of light you see in the image is us. You are in that picture. I'm in that picture. Everyone you know is in that picture, on that tiny mote of light.

I sometimes wonder-- the space program was not created so that pictures like that could be taken. They are more of a happy circumstance of the program. Yet I wonder if, in the long run, images like that will be one of the biggest legacies of these early days of exploration.

Tip of the lens cap to Larry Klaes for the link to the Pancam site.'