Author Archives: rburnham

Trace Gas Orbiter: Clouds over lava flows

Diffuse, water-ice clouds, a hazy sky and a light breeze. Such might have read a weather forecast for the Tharsis volcanic region on Mars on 22 November 2016, when this image was taken by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Clouds, … Continue reading

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Curiosity update: Winter is coming

Sol 1843-44, October 16, 2017, update by MSL scientist Scott Guzewich: The seasons on Mars are long, and even though Curiosity is near the equator, the change in weather between the seasons is noticeable and winter is coming to Gale … Continue reading

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HRSC: Colorful dunes on wind-swept Mars

Dunes are prominent indicators of prevailing winds, as can be seen on this crater floor on Mars, imaged by ESA’s Mars Express on 16 May. Depressions such as impact craters can act as traps for sediments that have been blown … Continue reading

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Ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits in Eridania

The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth. A recent international report [published in Nature Communications] examines observations by NASA’s … Continue reading

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THEMIS: Meroe and Nili Paterae in Syrtis Major

THEMIS Image of the Day, October 16, 2017. This image shows part of the Nili Patera dune field. High resolution imaging by other spacecraft has revealed that the dunes in this region are moving. Winds are blowing the dunes across … Continue reading

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Curiosity update: Quite a diffracting weekend!

Sol 1831, September 30, 2017, update by MSL scientist Mark Salvatore: The science team has been waiting quite a long time for this moment. Back in late March, nearly 180 Mars-days ago and when Curiosity was investigating the last stretches … Continue reading

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Mars Express: Visual Monitoring Camera goes pro

In the past fortnight, the VMC camera on Mars Express has delivered some of the best images ever, showing the Martian surface in excellent detail, colour and contrast. If you’re a VMCer (and, if you’re reading this, you are!) and … Continue reading

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Curiosity update: We’ve got the power

Sol 1830, September 29, 2017, update by MSL scientist Michael Battalio: With apologies to Montgomery Scott, “we do not have the power…,” but we will, as today was about keeping our state of charge up in preparation for possible CheMin … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Gullies in Icaria Planum crater

A certain starkness. Beautiful Mars series.

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MAVEN: Large solar storm sparks global aurora, doubles radiation levels at surface

An unexpectedly strong blast from the Sun hit Mars this month, observed by NASA missions in orbit and on the surface. “NASA’s distributed set of science missions is in the right place to detect activity on the Sun and examine … Continue reading

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