June 2, 2005

I Saw Those Shooting Staaaars, on Maaaars...

Sort of makes you wish that Cole Porter was around to write a new kind of love song. We have lots of songs involving wishing on a star, falling in love by moonlight, passion that burns as hot as the sun.

Now, NASA's Spirit Rover has born mechanical witness to a meteor shower from a Martian perspective.

On March 7, 2004, Spirit's panoramic camera photographed a bright streak in the sky. Scientists released the image a few days later, but at the time they were not sure if it was a meteor or the Viking Orbiter 2, still circling Mars after its 1970s mission.

Now the scientists have analyzed the path of the object and considered meteor showers that were predicted to have occurred on Mars around that time.

The meteor was likely once a tiny chunk of a comet called Wiseman-Skiff, according to a team led by Franck Selsis of Centre de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon in France.

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