Opportunity: Fresh crater?

1P543663215EFFCXAPP2556L5M1_L2L5L5L7L7Sol 4680, March 24, 2017. What appears to be a relatively recent disturbance, perhaps from a small meteorite impact, lies out on the sands of Meridiani, just west of the Endeavour Crater rim. (False-color Pancam  reconstruction by Holger Isenberg.) For a larger version, click the image.

Opportunity raw images, its latest mission status, a location map, and atmospheric opacity, known as tau.

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HiRISE: The splitting of the dunes

ESP_012897_1685The mound in the center of this image appears to have blocked the path of the dunes as they marched south (north is to the left in this image) across the scene. Many of these transverse dunes have slipfaces that face south, although in some cases, it’s hard to tell for certain. Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions in this area.

Although it might be hard to tell, this group of dunes is very near the central pit of a 35-kilometer-wide impact crater. Data from other instruments indicate the presence of clay-like materials in the rock… [More at link]

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ExoMars 2020 landing site workshop begins

ExoMars_rover_node_full_image_2The 4th ExoMars 2020 Landing Site Selection Workshop will be held on 27 – 28th March 2017 at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

The two-day workshop will be run by the ExoMars 2020 Landing Site Selection Working Group. A program of presentations, discussion and voting has been formulated to allow assessment of scientific and engineering aspects of the three remaining candidate landing sites: Aram Dorsum, Mawrth Vallis and Oxia Planum.

Supporting materials, including daily agendas and reports on the landing sites, are available here. [More at links]

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HiRISE: Possible chloride-rich deposits in Terra Sirenum

tumblr_onfohzmljM1rlz4gso2_1280Possible chloride-rich deposits in Terra Sirenum. Beautiful Mars series.

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THEMIS: Gullies on a big dune

Gullies and dunes in Russell Crater (THEMIS_IOTD_20170327)THEMIS Image of the Day, March 27, 2017. Today’s VIS image shows part of the large dune form on the floor of Russell Crater. The big dune is scarred by gullies, with little dunes gathering at the gullies’ ends.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Curiosity update: Approaching the dune edge

NRB_543623010EDR_F0620000NCAM00289M_Sol 1647-49, March 24, 2017, update by USGS scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The traction control test went well, and MSL drove over 30 meters on Sol 1646.  The rover will be busy this weekend with lots of remote sensing, arm work, and a drive onto the edge of the dune.  On Sol 1647, Left Mastcam will take a 360-degree panorama and Right Mastcam will acquire a 17×3 mosaic of the edge of the sand dune, which was named “Ogunquit Beach.”  Then ChemCam and Right Mastcam will observe bedrock targets “Damariscotta Lake,” “Mount Katahdin,” and “Boothbay Harbor.”  Late that afternoon, the arm will be unstowed for drill diagnostic tests and a full suite of MAHLI images on another bedrock target dubbed “Halftide Ledge.”  APXS will then be placed on the same target for… [More at link]

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HiRISE: Dust devil tracks on southern crater rim

tumblr_ombnjbasBj1rlz4gso1_1280Southern crater rim. Beautiful Mars series.

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Curiosity: Edge of Ogunquit Beach

1646-navcamSol 1646, March 24, 2017. Curiosity drove about 30 meters (100 feet) to the east-northeast. This placed the rover close to the edge of a large sand patch where it can investigate the dune sand and dune ripples at the area dubbed Ogunquit Beach. Click the image to enlarge it.

Sol 1646 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location.

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THEMIS: Gale Crater & Mt. Sharp in false color

Gale Crater and Mount Sharp false color (THEMIS_IOTDS_20170324)THEMIS Image of the Day, March 24, 2017. Today’s false color image shows part of Gale Crater, the home of Curiosity Rover. The rover has driven about 10 miles (16 km) from where it landed and is currently traversing across the blue band (which is sand dunes) on its way to Mt. Sharp at lower right.

The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. These false color images may reveal subtle variations of the surface not easily identified in a single band image.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Opportunity: Rolling southward

4679-pancamSol 4679, March 23, 2017. After Opportunity drove about 30 meters (100 feet) farther south, two Pancam frames scouted the landscape ahead. The bright “mesa” is a point of interest; while it may simply be covered with bright dust, its nature should become clearer as Opportunity draws closer to it. On the left side of the horizon, some overlapping hill profiles are beginning to appear, as dustiness in the air gradually clears. These are likely parts of the rim and ejecta apron of Iazu Crater. Click the image to enlarge it.

Opportunity raw images, its latest mission status, a location map, and atmospheric opacity, known as tau.

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