A message from outer space is amazing in itself, but a message from outer space in Irish? Now that's something else!
Astronomy enthusiasts and gaeilgors alike will delight at the latest offering from HiRISE – the high resolution camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The team behind HiRise, based at the University of Arizona, have created an Irish language database of images. With the new site, titled HiRISE Gaeilge, come a Tumblr, a YouTube channel, and dedicated Twitter feed – the first and only resources from an active NASA mission in the Irish language.
The HiRISE camera is the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet. The Beautiful Mars project, which makes the HiRISE images accessible to the larger public, offers dedicated websites and other social media outlets in fourteen languages and counting, including Spanish, Turkish, Japanese and Icelandic.
All translations are done by volunteers. "It is without doubt a pleasurable duty to help prepare the Irish language version of the ‘Beautiful Mars Project’ for Irish speakers around the world,” said volunteer Matt Hussey of Dublin. “This scheme provides us with a vision of the wonderful landscapes of the Red Planet.”
“Scanning through the exquisite images, of unprecedented detail, you get a deep, inspiring feeling about our neighboring planet within the solar system. In its totality, the scheme is an extremely appealing, extremely interesting art form. It is great to have the opportunity to couple our ancient, yet modern, language with these images.”
The HiRISE team hopes that science instructors and Irish language teachers will make use of the available slides, flyers and audio for captioned images, which are perfect for instructors at all levels to present Irish along with some of the most stunning images of Mars thanks to the high resolution of HiRISE.
If you’re interested in volunteering contact the BeautifulMars Project.