Monday, September 10, 2012

CalTech Easter Egg on the Curiosity rover!?

We've landed on Mars (well, NASA has) and a stream of Gorgeous Pictures have been coming our way. Well, I love Space and Pictures so I looked at the ones that came in today.


And I saw something.

Check out this picture. It's a closeup of the MAHLI (= MArs Hand Lens Imager) camera calibtration target. What do you see?

Notice that scribble in the 0 (which is just over a millimeter high, i.e. this is not visible to the naked eye?)

Well it's not just a squiggle. It's some letters. And, as they say, "It's all Greek to me". And it's on Mars. (If you don't believe me, the Nasa original file is here)

As a matter of fact, it's the greek letters gamma, delta, beta, gamma.

After som Googling, I found out that this is a reference to the CalTech campus "Blacker House", where the rascals from there was pulling so many weird pranks that a janitor called them the "God Damned Blacker Gang".... which they liked so much they used it to graffitti-tag their exploits in the future... in Greek.

You can read about it on the Blacker House wikipedia entry.

So when you see GDBG or rather γδβγ, it's CalTech people who has been around.

Apparently, at least one was around for making the calibration target for Curiosity.

As Alice would have said - Curiouser and Curiouser.... :)