HiRISE: Hummocky material in Deuteronilus Mensae

tumblr_oajaj9loXa1rlz4gso1_1280Hummocky material in Deuteronilus Mensae. Beautiful Mars series.

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosity: Rolling across rolling pavement

1410-mahliSol 1410, July 24, 2016. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) takes a shot at the scenery to the left of Curiosity from its stowed position on the instrument arm (hence the tilted framing). Below, a Navcam forward-looking composite, with the Murray Buttes on the right and the MAHLI scene visible on the left. Click either image to enlarge it.

Sol 1410 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location.

1410-navcam

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HiRISE: Little crater on the plains

tumblr_oajamemyGZ1rlz4gso1_1280Little crater on the plains. Beautiful Mars series.

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opportunity: Moving onward

4443-navcamSols 4442-43, July 23-24, 2016. Following a drive of about 75 feet (23 meters) to the north-northeast, Opportunity’s Navcam shot a 3-frame view looking ahead (above). The low ridge leads downslope from Hinners Point and forms the north wall of Marathon Valley.

On Sol 4442, before the drive, the rover used its Navcam to shoot a 7-frame-wide composite view (below) looking generally south over the rover’s rear deck.Both images enlarge when clicked.

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

4442-navcam

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THEMIS: Bamba Crater – false color

Bamba Crater (THEMIS_IOTD_20160725)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 25, 2016.  Today’s false color image shows part of Bamba Crater located in Xanthe Terra. The THEMIS 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.

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosity update: Finishing up at Bimbe

NRB_522234624EDR_F0560000NCAM00654M_-br2Sol 1409-11, July 22, 2016, update from USGS scientist Ryan Anderson: For the weekend plan, we have a bunch more observations of the interesting blocky deposit “Bimbe”. Sol 1409 starts off with a couple of Mastcam images: one of the target “Seeis” and another of the AEGIS target from Sol 1406. Mastcam also has a mosaic to provide more context for the Bimbe blocks. After that, ChemCam has observations of the targets “Seeheim”, “Wilhelmstal”, “Oranjemund”, and “Seeis”. MAHLI then will observe… [More at link]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HiRISE: Faulting Mars

ESP_045497_1800This region of Xanthe Terra has mostly been contracted due to thrust faulting, but this local region shows evidence of extensional faulting, also called normal faulting.

When two normal faults face each other, they create a bathtub-like depression called a “graben.” [More at link]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosity: Bimbe rockpile

FLB_522408022EDR_F0560000FHAZ00337M_Sol 1407, July 21, 2016. The rover’s instrument arm drops from the sky onto a pile of conglomerate rocks at Bimbe, in this (cropped and contrast adjusted) front Hazcam view. Click the image to enlarge it in a new tab.

Below: Rock fragment and rover wheel (by MAHLI).

Sol 1407 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location.

1407MH0006290010502807E02_DXXX

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ExoMars: Trace Gas Orbiter Google hangout

ExoMars_TGO_Deep_Space_Hangout_highlightJoin us for a Google hangout with ExoMars mission experts for an update on the cruise to Mars, next week’s crucial mid-course manoeuvre and preparations for the arrival phase. The hangout will be live on YouTube on 26 July at 14:00 GMT/16:00 CEST.

Since launch on 14 March, ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli landing demonstration module have been en route to the Red Planet.

The hangout will include updates and live Q&A with ESA experts and scientists, focusing on the crucial milestones during the spacecraft’s seven-month cruise to the Red Planet.

The hangout will be hosted by Daniel Scuka (ESA Spacecraft Operations Editor) who will be joined by:

• Michel Denis – ExoMars Flight Director, ESOC
• Silvia Sangiorgi – ExoMars Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager, ESOC
• Michael Khan – Mission Analyst, ESOC
• Ian Thomas – NOMAD spectrometer project manager, Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy

Post questions using the #askESA hashtag on 26 July – we’ll answer the best ones live in the hangout! [More at link]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HiRISE: Colorful bedrock in crater’s central uplift

ESP_045519_1730Large impact craters rebound from the initial shock, raising deep bedrock to the surface in the central uplift of the crater.

Often this bedrock has greater compositional diversity than the surface layers, because they are from greater depths, older, jumbled, and altered, and very diverse. [More at link]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THEMIS: Ganges Chasma’s history book

Down in Ganges Chasma (THEMIS_IOTD_20160722)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 22, 2016. Today’s false color image shows part Ganges Chasma. 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.

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosity is picking its own laser targets

PIA20762_hiresNASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is now selecting rock targets for its laser spectrometer — the first time autonomous target selection is available for an instrument of this kind on any robotic planetary mission.

Using software developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, Curiosity is now frequently choosing multiple targets per week for a laser and a telescopic camera that are parts of the rover’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. Most ChemCam targets are still selected by scientists discussing rocks or soil seen in images the rover has sent to Earth, but the autonomous targeting adds a new capability. (…)

AEGIS software, for Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, had previously been used on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, though less frequently and for a different type of instrument. That rover uses the software to analyze images from a wide-angle camera as the basis for autonomously selecting rocks to photograph with a narrower-angle camera. Development work on AEGIS won a NASA Software of the Year Award in 2011.

“This autonomy is particularly useful at times when getting the science team in the loop is difficult or impossible — in the middle of a long drive, perhaps, or when the schedules of Earth, Mars and spacecraft activities lead to delays in sharing information between the planets,” said robotics engineer Tara Estlin, the leader of AEGIS development at JPL. [More at link]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosity update: Bimbe conglomerates

FLB_522309218EDR_F0560000FHAZ00341M_-br2Sol 1405-08, July 20, 2016, update from USGS scientist Ryan Anderson: After a busy weekend plan, we are back to “restricted” sols this week, planning two days at a time. Monday’s planning for sols 1405-1406 started off with a discussion of whether we wanted to do some brief contact science before driving, or just drive straight for the block deposit called “Bimbe”.

In the end, we decided to keep the contact science in the plan, so sol 1405 included some MAHLI imaging of the target “Guri”. Mastcam had a multispectral observation of Guri as well as “Galo” to look for evidence of hematite. Mastcam also had an observation of an outcrop of possible conglomerate rock. ChemCam had measurements of the bedrock targets “Cela” and “Dala”.

After that we drove toward Bimbe. On sol 1406, we had a Navcam atmospheric observation and a… [More at link]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THEMIS: Dunes in Juventae Chasma – false color

Dunes and ridges in Juventae Chasma (THEMIS_IOTD_20160721)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 21, 2016. Today’s false color image shows part of Juventae Chasma. Dunes are visible on the floor of the chasma. 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.

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MARCI weather report, July 11-17, 2016

releaseimg_160711_160717A slight lull in southern hemisphere dust storm activity for the past week on Mars. A couple small transient dust storms were spotted over Cimmeria and Noachis. Focusing a bit further equatorward, dust haze, lifted from the previous week’s activity, lingered over Noachis, Sirenum, and Aonia. During that time, large arcuate-shaped dust storms propagated eastward over the northern plains from Acidalia to Utopia. Looking to… [More at link, including video]

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off