Curiosity: Checking out Muir of Ord

FRB_606125230EDR_F0750060FHAZ00302M_Sol 2350, March 17, 2019. It was St. Patrick’s Day on Earth, but Curiosity was squaring up to a rock named for a Scottish Highlands village. As the science team planned, Curiosity was moved a few meters to get a better look at the rock dubbed Muir of Ord.

NRB_606129129EDR_F0750060NCAM00375M_At right are (top) the front Hazcam’s view of Muir of Ord at 3:20 local time, with the rock in late afternoon sunlight. Below is the view by the Navcam an hour later, when the rover’s shadow has crept out to cover the rock. Click either image to enlarge it.

Sol 2350 raw images (from all cameras).

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HiRISE: Surface texture

ESP_054700_1720Surface texture. Interesting how the dune ripples within these shallow craters all seem to have a similar orientation. This image is within a crater in the Arabia Terra region.

HiRISE Picture of the Day archive [More at links]

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THEMIS: Bumpy hills of Arianes Colles

Bumpy hills of Ariadnes Colles (THEMIS_IOTD_20190318)THEMIS Image of the Day, March 18, 2019. Today’s VIS image shows part of Ariadnes Colles. The term colles means hills or knobs.

The hills appear brighter than the surrounding lowlands, likely due to relatively less dust cover. Ariadnes Colles is located in Terra Cimmeria.

Explore more THEMIS Images of the Day by geological subject.

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Curiosity: OK, where are we?

2347-navcamASol 2347, March 14, 2019. With the rover back online, mission controllers directed Curiosity to take a 12-frame panorama using the Navcam. The composite above looks ahead, while the one below looks behind. Click either image to enlarge it.

Sol 2347 raw images (from all cameras).

2347-navcamB

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HiRISE: When the lighting is just right

ESP_054689_1680When the lighting is just right. Almost all of our images are taken in the Martian afternoon, around 3 p.m., and sometimes the lighting conditions make a particularly striking image. These are layered sediments in east Melas Chasma.

HiRISE Picture of the Day archive [More at links]

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THEMIS: South polar ice cap layers

South polar ice cap layers (THEMIS_IOTD_20190315)THEMIS Image of the Day, March 15, 2019. This VIS image is located on the South Polar cap. The linear features are the steep side of a polar trough. At troughs the extensive layering of the ice is exposed. The layers represent deposition of ice and dust during changing seasons over millions of years.

In the upper half of the image is a faint circular feature. It most likely shows where the rim of an impact crater lies buried under a shallow layer of ice.

Explore more THEMIS Images of the Day by geological subject.

 

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Curiosity update: Ctrl+Alt+Del

FRB_605760933EDR_F0740762FHAZ00337M_Sols 2347-48, March 14, 2019, update by MSL scientist Scott Guzewich: Curiosity is back to work after another hiatus due to a computer reset. These sorts of resets do happen from time to time for operating spacecraft and we’re able to enjoy the benefit of two computers to operate the rover by switching to the other one when needed. As you’d expect, the view out of the front windshield hasn’t changed much lately and the rover’s arm is still poised over the bedrock target “Fife.” We’ll begin today’s plan with an APXS integration on Fife before continuing to examine the nearby bedrock including a pebble called “Schiehallion.” ChemCam and Mastcam will also both study some dune and ripple fields nearby… [More at link]

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ExoMars: Images of InSight lander and more

ExoMars_images_InSightCurious surface features, water-formed minerals, 3D stereo views, and even a sighting of the InSight lander showcase the impressive range of imaging capabilities of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.

The ESA-Roscosmos Trace Gas Orbiter, or TGO, launched three years ago today, on 14 March 2016. It arrived at Mars on 19 October that year, and spent over a year demonstrating the aerobraking technique needed to reach its science orbit, starting its prime mission at the end of April 2018.

Amongst a new showcase of images from the spacecraft’s Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System, CaSSIS, is an image of NASA’s InSight lander – the first time a European instrument has identified a lander on the Red Planet.

Insight arrived on Mars on 26 November 2018 to study the interior of the planet. Images of the lander have already been returned by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; these are the first images from TGO… [More at link]

Salty_sulphates

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HiRISE: Overlapping rims of craters

ESP_054688_1840Overlapping rims of craters. This image is, literally, of the overlapping part on the eastern side, so it might not be obvious there are two craters here. Nonetheless, our objective is to observe the elevation change in the craters along with seeing the impact of the wind on the sediments around them.

HiRISE Picture of the Day archive [More at links]

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Curiosity: What’s in front, what’s behind

FRB_605760933EDR_F0740762FHAZ00337M_Sol 2346, March 13, 2019. Front and rear views from the right-side Hazcams show the immediate surroundings of Curiosity. (Click either image to enlarge it.)

The rear view gives a slightly different perspective on the layered rock dubbed Muir of Ord (seen at center right) compared with that shown here.

Sol 2346 raw images (from all cameras).

RRB_605760974EDR_F0740762RHAZ00337M_

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