Curiosity: Chinle outcrop in color

792-chinle-colorSol 792, October 28, 2014. This two-frame wide-angle Mastcam composite shows part of the Chinle outcrop and its small-scale layers.

NASA description (left image): This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 792 (2014-10-29 00:58:41 UTC).

Sol 792 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location map.

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HiRISE: Which way is up?

ESP_035969_1825This image shows an impact crater that was cut by lava in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars. The relatively flat, shallow floor, rough surface texture, and possible cooling cracks seem to indicate that the crater was partially filled with lava. The northern part of the image also shows a more extensive lava flow deposit that surrounds the impact ejecta of the largest impact crater in the image… [More at link]

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Curiosity update: ‘Beautiful layers’

NLB_467815900EDR_F0440370NCAM00404M_Sol 794-795, October 29, 2014, update from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: “The 15.8 meter drive on Sol 792 was successful, bringing Curiosity right up to the Chinle outcrop, which has some beautiful layering. In the Sol 794 plan, we have ChemCam observations of four targets on the outcrop: “Cima,” “Sespe,” “Aguereberry Point,” and “Soledad Pass.” Mastcam…” [More at link]

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MARCI weather report, October 20-26, 2014

releaseimg_141020_141026This past week extensive dust-lifting in numerous areas of the planet contributed to expansive regional scale storms and dust mobilization. Early in the week several storms formed along the Acidalia storm-track, crossing the equator and moving into central Noachis… [More at link, including video]

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HiRISE: Search for the Mars 2 debris field

ESP_037371_1350Despite the recent successes of missions landing on Mars, like the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) or the arrival of new satellites, such as India’s MOM orbiter, the Red Planet is also a graveyard of failed missions. The Soviet Mars 2 lander was the first man-made object to touch the surface of the Red Planet when it crashed landed on 27 November 1971. It is believed that the descent stage malfunctioned after the lander entered the atmosphere at too steep an angle. Attempts to contact the probe after the crash were unsuccessful… [More at link]

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Curiosity: Contact at Chinle

792-pan2Sol 792, October 28, 2014. Opportunity’s rover’s leftside Navcam captures a two-frame composite showing a stratigraphic change, which geologists call a “contact,” in the rock outcrop next to the rover. (Edit: the outcrop has been dubbed Chinle.)

Sol 792 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location map.

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THEMIS: Apollinaris Mons

Lava-covered flanks of Apollinaris Mons (THEMIS_IOTD_20141029)THEMIS Image of the Day, October 29, 2014. Today’s VIS image shows the southern flank, where the volcanic material has been eroded into a ridge and channel surface.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Curiosity: Fragile rocks dead ahead

FRB_467715738EDR_F0440256FHAZ00323M_Sol 791, October 27, 2014. Just ahead of the rover’s right front wheel stand several fragile-looking rocks with curiously eroded structures.

NASA description: This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 791 (2014-10-27 21:15:28 UTC).

Sol 791 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location map.

 

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HiRISE: Loveliness of Martian gullies

tumblr_ne4wqkZBuT1rlz4gso2_1280On the loveliness of Martian gullies. Beautiful Mars series.

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Opportunity: Looking north

3825-northSol 3825, October 27, 2014. The rover’s left Navcam takes in the view over Wdowiak Ridge, with the rim of Ulysses Crater just visible in the center foreground. In the distance beyond lie the Solander Point and Cape York rim segments.

Mission scientists have noted that dust activity in the atmosphere has substantially raised the atmosphere’s tau, or opacity. This reduces the power provided by the rover’s solar cells. Because the ground on the ridge where Opportunity now stands is tipped somewhat away from the Sun, the mission team is looking to find a more level place for Opportunity so that power reserves can remain safely high.

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

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Opportunity: Jagged block of ejecta

1R467759463EFFCI39P1312R0M1Sol 3825, October 27, 2014. Opportunity is rolling uphill toward the south, away from Ulysses Crater, but higher on Cape Tribulation. Motoring in reverse, the rover’s right rear Hazcam catches a jagged chunk of rock (top; contrast adjusted), probably thrown out by the Ulysses Crater impact. The view from the front right Hazcam (below) looks downslope past the instrument arm toward the floor of Endeavour Crater.

 

 

1F467759411EFFCI39P1211R0M1Opportunity raw images, its latest mission status, and a location map.

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Curiosity update from USGS

Sol 792-793, October 27, 2014, update from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: “I’ve been swamped with work for other projects recently, but those are behind me now, and I’m excited to get caught up on what Curiosity has been doing! The plan…” [More at link]

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THEMIS: South polar layers

South polar layers (THEMIS_IOTD_20141028)THEMIS Image of the Day, October 28, 2014. Today’s VIS image shows layering in the south polar cap.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

 

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HRSC: Chaos in Atlantis basin

Chaos_in_Atlantis_basinMars is peppered with craters. Scientists have deduced that the red planet is struck by around 200 meteoroids every year that dig out new craters. While some small craters are fresh, Mars has a great many that are much larger and more ancient, such as the roughly circular patch of terrain, partially encircled by wrinkled cliffs, shown at the centre of this image. Named Atlantis basin, this crater is so old that its outer rim has eroded and is now barely detectable…. [More at link]

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HiRISE: Perennial frost in a northern plains crater

ESP_037551_2540Most surface ice on Mars is temporary. The polar layered deposits are thick stacks of permanent water ice at each pole, and the South Polar residual cap may be a permanent (although dynamic) layer of carbon dioxide ice. However, at lower latitudes, seasonal frost (mostly carbon dioxide, but some water ice) comes and goes each year… [More at link]

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