Thursday, June 24, 2010


STUDENT IMAGING PROGRAM FOUND A “NEW PIT” - A group of seventh-graders in California has discovered a mysterious cave on Mars as part of a research project to study images taken by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the red planet. The 16 students from teacher Dennis Mitchell's 7th-grade science class at Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, Calif., found what looks to be a Martian skylight - a hole in the roof of a cave on Mars. “The students developed a research project focused on finding the most common locations of lava tubes on Mars,” Mitchell said. “Do they occur most often near the summit of a volcano, on its flanks, or the plains surrounding it?” The class commissioned a main photo and a backup image of Mars' Pavonis Monsvolcano, targeted on a region that hadn't been imaged up close. Both pictures were taken by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter using its Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) instrument. Both images showed lava tubes, as the students had hoped. But the backup photo provided another surprise: a small, round black spot. It was a hole on Mars leading into the buried cave, researchers said.

Glen Cushing, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, said that "this pit is certainly new to us" and that these anomalous pit craters are like skylights - places where a small part of the roof of a cave or a lava tube had collapsed, opening the area below the surface to the sky. The caves are thought to result from volcanic activity on the red planet. At some point lava channels likely carved out caverns in the rock, and then left behind tunnel, or “lava tubes,” when the eruptions were over. They would have been covered when a solid ceiling of cooled material settled on top, and then sections of the ceiling likely collapsed at some point to form the “skylight entrances”. Scientists aren't sure what type of materials or deposits could be stored inside.

7th graders students have discovered a Martian pit while participating in a program that enables them to use the camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. Scientists say that more than one half of all stars are multiple star systems, so there are billions of things to examine through our telescopes; however, they won't see the remotest layer of this universe.

When the senses are extended by microscopes and telescopes, these instruments have more range, but are still limited to the material sphere. The telescope cannot penetrate the outermost covering of the universe; the microscope lens is composed of atoms and therefore cannot see the atom or anything smaller than the atom. Likewise, the system of mental speculation is also inefficient to perceive the spiritual elements. Mind is a material element whose density is very slight. (Bhagavad-gita VII:4) Higher abstractions are no more spiritual than hard rocks. There is a common belief that by extending the potency of the mind we can conceive of the infinite, but this process is defective. If the infinite can be confined in a limited mind, then it is not infinite. I don't even know how many hairs are on my head.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“The Descent of the Holy Name”
“A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective”
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library

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