Curiosity at Mount Remarkable

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Navigation Camera (Navcam) to record this scene of a butte called “Mount Remarkable” and surrounding outcrops at a waypoint called “the Kimberley” inside Gale Crater. The butte stands about 16 feet (5 meters) high. Its informal name comes from a mountain and national park in Australia. The rover team plans to drive Curiosity to the flatter outcrop at the base of the Martian Mount Remarkable for a close-up inspection that might include… [More at link]

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Meteorites yield clues to early Mars atmosphere

augite crystals in Mars meteoriteGeologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published April 17 in the journal Nature, shows that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged in important ways very early in the 4.6 billion year evolution of our solar system… [More at link]

 

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Opportunity’s selfie shows clean machine

Opportunity rover selfieIn its sixth Martian winter, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity now has cleaner solar arrays than in any Martian winter since its first on the Red Planet, in 2005. Cleaning effects of wind events in March boosted the amount of electricity available for the rover’s work. A new self-portrait from Opportunity’s panoramic camera (Pancam), showing the cleaned arrays, is online at… [More at link]

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THEMIS: Semeykin Crater

Semeykin Crater channelsTHEMIS Image of the Day, April 17, 2014. This VIS image shows several channels dissecting the rim of Semeykin Crater.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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HiRISE: Big block of red bedrock

This image covers a 26-kilometer-wide impact crater northeast of the Hellas impact basin. The crater exposes large blocks of bedrock (called “megabreccia”) in both the central uplift and in the walls of the crater. The enhanced-color subimage from the wall shows a large, approximately 250-meter-wide reddish block, although actually “red” in the infrared-shifted color of HiRISE… [More at link]

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MARCI weather report: April 7–13, 2014

Local dust storms were observed in Solis, Aonia, and west of Syrtis. Dust haze was present off the residual north polar cap near Olympia. Diffuse water ice clouds were present over equatorial latitudes and the major shield volcanoes. Skies remained relatively clear and storm-free over the Opportunity rover site at Endeavor Crater and the Curiosity rover site at Gale Crater.… [More at link, including video]

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HiRISE: Surprising landslump in Melas Chasma

HiRISE has been monitoring the recurring slope lineae (RSL) over the mid-latitude and equatorial regions of Mars. One of these sites is a crater on the floor of Melas Chasma; and an animation shows how the RSL follow the sun, changing slope aspect with the seasons. In one of our most recent images of this site, there was a surprise: a new dark streak just down slope from the RSL… [More at link]

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HiRISE/Curiosity: Ready to drill for gold at the Kimberley

Black gold, that is: organic material, which could be a biomarker (sign of past life), the holy grail of Mars exploration. Last December at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, MSL Project Scientist John Grotzinger talked about what the team learned at Yellowknife Bay, and why they would stop and drill again at a place named “the Kimberley.” The mudstones at Yellowknife Bay had been exposed recently — to a geologist — less than 100 million years ago…. [More at link]

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HiRISE: Equatorial gullies

Although gullies are most common in the middle latitudes of Mars, they are also found in equatorial regions. This image shows a 3-kilometer-wide impact crater with gullies all along the steep inner slopes. An enhanced-color cutout better distinguishes the gully deposits from the surrounding boulder fields…. [More at link]

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Curiosity update: “Mount Remarkable”

Sol 602, April 16, 2014: update on Curiosity from U.S. Geological Survey scientist Ken Herkenhoff: “I’m attending a 3-day meeting of the full MSL science team, so I’m less focused on rover operations than usual this week. After lots of…” [More at link]

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Curiosity: Sol 601, April 15, 2014

Looking due north, the rover’s Navcam imaged Mount Joseph (right) and part of Mount Christine (left), the two mounds at the north end of the Kimberley outcrop. Behind them in the hazy distance lies the north rim of Gale Crater.

NASA description: This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 601 (2014-04-15 15:13:20 UTC).

More Sol 601 images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location map.

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Curiosity update: “Closest approach”

Sol 601, April 15, 2014: update on Curiosity from U.S. Geological Survey scientist Ken Herkenhoff: “On April 14th, Mars made its closest approach to Earth this year. In addition, by chance, Earth’s moon is totally eclipsed on the same.…” [More at link]

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Curiosity: Sol 601, April 15, 2014

Looking southeast, the Navcam profiles Mount Sharp, from outcrop to sky.

NASA description: This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 601 (2014-04-15 15:15:03 UTC).

More Sol 601 images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location map.

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Opportunity: Sol 3635, April 15, 2014

Close to the summit of Solander Point late in the afternoon, Opportunity’s instrument arm is positioned over a target in this left-side front Hazcam view. In the distance at right is the summit of Cape Tribulation, the next Endeavour rim segment to the south.

Opportunity raw images, its latest mission status, and a location map.

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HiRISE: Field of cones

rootless cones in Utopia Planitia, MarsBeautiful Mars series. Field of cones in Utopia Planitia. More Beautiful Mars images.

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