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Today in History

(click to view the full-size image) This oblique view of the lower mound in Gale Crater shows layers of rock that preserve a record of environments on Mars. Here, orbiting instruments have detected signatures of both clay minerals and sulfate salts, with more clay minerals apparent in the foreground of this image and fewer in higher layers. This change in mineralogy may reflect a change in the ancient environment in Gale Crater. Mars scientists have several important hypotheses about how these minerals may reflect changes in the amount of water on the surface of Mars. The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will use its full suite of instruments to study these minerals to provide insights into these ancient Martian environments. These rocks are also a prime target in the search for organic molecules since these past environments may have been habitable -- able to support microbial life. Scientists will study how organic molecules, if present, vary with mineralogical variations in the layers to understand how they formed and what influences their preservation. The smaller hills in this view may provide clues to the modern water cycle on Mars. They contain sulfate salts that have water in them, and as temperatures warm into summer, some of that water may be released to the atmosphere. As temperatures cool, they may absorb water from the atmosphere. The Mars Science Laboratory team will investigate how water is exchanged between these minerals and the atmosphere, helping us understand Mars' modern climate. The hills are particularly useful for this investigation because different parts of the hills are exposed to different amounts of sunlight and thus to different temperatures. Curiosity will be able to compare the water in these contrasting areas as part of its investigations. This three-dimensional perspective view was created using visible-light imaging by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Three-dimensional information was derived by stereo analysis of image pairs. The vertical dimension is not exaggerated. Color information is derived from color imaging of portions of the scene by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera. The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being prepared for launch on Nov. 25, 2011. In a prime mission lasting one Martian year -- nearly two Earth years -- after landing, researchers will use the rover's tools to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
Title: Automan Genre: Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Creator: Glen A. Larson Cast: Desi Arnaz Jr., Chuck Wagner, Heather McNair, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Robert Lansing First aired: 1983-12-15 Overview: Automan is an American science fiction superhero television series produced by Glen A. Larson. It aired for only 12 episodes on ABC between 1983 and 1984.
Title: Tron Tagline: A world inside the computer where man has never been. Until now. Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Adventure Director: Steven Lisberger Cast: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor, Peter Jurasik, Tony Stephano, Craig Chudy, Vince Deadrick Jr., Sam Schatz, Michael Dudikoff, Jackson Bostwick Release: 1982-07-09 Runtime: 96 Plot: When brilliant video game maker Flynn hacks the mainframe of his ex-employer, he is beamed inside an astonishing digital world...and becomes part of the very game he is designing. In his mission through cyberspace, Flynn matches wits with a maniacal Master Control Program and teams up with Tron, a security measure created to bring balance to the digital environment.
Title: La Brea Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure First aired: 2021-09-28 Creator: David Appelbaum Cast: Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Jack Martin, Zyra Gorecki, Jon Seda, Chiké Okonkwo, Karina Logue, Veronica St. Clair, Rohan Mirchandaney, Nicholas Gonzalez, Lily Santiago, Chloe De Los Santos, Josh McKenzie Overview: An epic adventure begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths. Those who fell in find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive. Meanwhile, the rest of the world desperately seeks to understand what happened. In the search for answers, one family torn apart by this disaster will have to unlock the secrets of this inexplicable event to find a way back to each other.
Title: Zoolander Tagline: 3% Body Fat. 1% Brain Activity. Genre: Comedy Director: Ben Stiller Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller, David Duchovny, Jon Voight, Judah Friedlander, Nathan Lee Graham, Alexandre Manning, Asio Highsmith, Alexander Skarsgård, Donald Trump, Christian Slater, Tom Ford, Cuba Gooding Jr., Steve Kmetko, Tommy Hilfiger, Natalie Portman, Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum, Mark Ronson, Paris Hilton, David Bowie, Tyson Beckford, Fred Durst, Lance Bass, Lil' Kim, Garry Shandling, Stephen Dorff, Sandra Bernhard, Claudia Schiffer, Veronica Webb, Lukas Haas, Carmen Kass, Frankie Rayder, Matt Levin, Justin Theroux, Andy Dick, Woodrow Asai, Andrew Wilson, Vikram Chatwal, Kashana, Jonah Luber, Michael McAlpin, Ève Salvail, Shavo Odadjian, Eliot Johnson, Richard Gladys, Amy Stiller, John Vargas, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Kanal, Endre Hules, Nora Dunn, Ric Pipino, Jerry Stahl, Jennifer McComb, Johann Urb, Luc Commeret, Herb Lieberz, Zoya, Colin McNish, Darren Copeland, Richard Stanley, Shabazz Richardson, Rohan Quine, Svetlana, Eric Winzenreid, Charles Brame, James Marsden, Rudy Segura, Randall Slavin, Patton Oswalt, Irina Pantaeva, Stan Chu, Kum Ming Ho, Theo Kogan, Lam Bor, Angel 11:11, Luther Creek, Dechen Thurman, Kenny Max, Kina, David Pressman, Godfrey, Taj Crown, Richie Rich, King, Frederic Fekkai, Kevyn Aucoin, Boris Kachscovsky, Mitch Winston, Mason Webb, Alexa Nikolas, Victoria Beckham, Gavin Rossdale, Winona Ryder, Vince Vaughn, Billy Zane, Fabio, Klara Landrat, Amanda Lepore, Tina Casciani, Paulo Pascoal Release: 2001-09-28 Runtime: 90 Plot: Clear the runway for Derek Zoolander, VH1's three-time male model of the year. His face falls when hippie-chic Hansel scooters in to steal this year's award. The evil fashion guru Mugatu seizes the opportunity to turn Derek into a killing machine. It's a well-designed conspiracy and only with the help of Hansel and a few well-chosen accessories like Matilda can Derek make the world safe for male models everywhere.

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