Weather update from Gale Crater

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HiRISE: Semi-sinuous ridge and stratified material in Arabia Terra

tumblr_pdgljnBX9v1rlz4gso1_1280Semi-sinuous ridge and stratified material in Arabia Terra. Looks like inverted stream channels that contributed to a lake or pond, with stratified sedimentary rock units in the depression. Important imaging for understanding how to best distinguish cratered, erosion-resistant sedimentary rock units from volcanic and impact melt rocks.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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MARCI weather report, August 6-12, 2018

MARCI-August-11-2018Bright and dark regions of Mars continued to become more apparent through the planet-encircling dust haze as dust continued to slowly settle out of the atmosphere last week. Each sol, thick hazes still lingered above the martian lowlands including over the floors of Valles Marineris. Across the northern highlands, some crater rims, dune fields, and wind streaks faintly came into view. Looking to the southern hemisphere… [More at link, including video]

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THEMIS: Dark streaks on the rim of Orcus Patera

Dark streaks on rim of Orcus Patera (THEMIS_IOTD_20180815)THEMIS Image of the Day, August 15, 2018. Today’s VIS image is located on the western margin of Orcus Patera. Dark slope streaks are present on most ridges in the image.

Formation of these features is linked to a change in the surface, either removal of the dusty surface revealing darker rock beneath the dust, or a volatile flow along the cliff face.

See more THEMIS Images of the Day by geological subject.

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HiRISE: Exposed bedrock in Millochau Crater

tumblr_pdgjvcKCR51rlz4gso2_1280Exposed bedrock in Millochau Crater. There are some very nice sediments here. The crater measures 115 kilometers in diameter and was named after French astronomer Gaston Millochau.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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THEMIS: Crosscross tectonics in Lycus Sulci

Crisscross tectonics (THEMIS_IOTD_20180814)THEMIS Image of the Day, August 14, 2018. Lycus Sulci is a very complex region surrounding the northern and western flanks of Olympus Mons.

This VIS image shows some of the tectonic features found in Lycus Sulci as well as the dark slope streaks that are common in this region.

Right angle intersections of valleys indicate tectonic fracturing. Bowl-shaped channel heads may form by release of a liquid such as melted subsurface ice.

See more THEMIS Images of the Day by geological subject.

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HiRISE: Ongoing dune activity in Ganges Chasma

tumblr_pd62ghoTzD1rlz4gso1_1280Ongoing dune activity in Ganges Chasma. Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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Curiosity update: Taking a closer look at the Stoer sample

2138MR0114680010205069E01_DXXX-br2Sols 2141-42, August 13, 2018, update by MSL scientist Ashley Stroupe: In today’s plan, Curiosity begins analysis of the long-awaited Pettegrove Point drill sample at the “Stoer” target, which was successfully collected last week (and I had the pleasure of helping to sequence as a Rover Planner). Our main activity is the drop-off of sample to CheMin, based on the characterization of the drop-off portion size done in the weekend plan. There is still a good bit of wind, so the drop-off is around noon, during the calmest time. Overnight, CheMin will be busy analyzing the sample; we’ll have the results down late Wednesday, which can then inform decisions about dropping off sample to SAM as early as this weekend’s plan for analysis early next week. [More at link]

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HiRISE: Linear ridge network north of Antoniadi Crater

tumblr_pd62m1HAZY1rlz4gso1_1280A linear ridge network to the north of Antoniadi Crater. The objective of this observation is to examine a linear ridge network. This network may have been a consequence of fluids raised along faults created by impacts. They have also been associated with clays.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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Curiosity update: Success at Pettegrove Point!

CR0_587121986PRC_F0721316CCAM01136L1-br2Sols 2138-40, August 13, 2018, update by MSL scientist Catherine O’Connell-Cooper: On our third attempt at drilling within the Pettegrove Point member on the Vera Rubin Ridge, we have success! Curiosity has successfully drilled, and generated a pile of drill tailings.

This weekend’s plan is focused on the Stoer drill hole, the tailings derived from the drill and on portion characterization observations. The portion characterization is done prior to sending samples to the analytical instruments, SAM and CheMin, to ensure that the materials will not pose any threat to the instruments. ChemCam passive and Mastcam multispectral imaging will be taken of the drill tailings to identify any potential differences… [More at link]

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