Author Archives: rburnham

Curiosity update: First half of long-baseline stereo

Sol 1643, March 20, 2017, update by USGS scientist Ken Herkenhoff: MSL drove about 28 meters toward the south on Sol 1642 and again is in an area with Murray Formation bedrock blocks surrounded by dark sand.  I helped plan … Continue reading

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Arsia Mons turned off its volcanic activity about 50 million years ago

New NASA research reveals that the giant Martian volcano Arsia Mons produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity. The last volcanic activity there ceased about 50 million … Continue reading

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HiRISE: The hills are colorful in Juventae Chasma

There are many hills about 1 kilometer high in Juventae Chasma, which is located north of the main Valles Marineris canyon system. The floor of the canyon is covered by a sea of sand, but the hills rise above the … Continue reading

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Curiosity: Threading between the sand traps

Sol 1642, March 20, 2017. Four Navcam frames capture Mt. Sharp rising above the rocky path leading south towards it, threading between the sand traps along the way. Click image to enlarge it. Sol 1642 raw images (from all cameras), … Continue reading

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ExoMars 2020 landing sites will narrow to two

On Monday 27 March, the 4th ExoMars Landing Site Selection Workshop will take place at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), The Netherlands. At the conclusion of the two-day meeting the Landing Site Selection Working Group will make … Continue reading

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Opportunity: Pancam snaps the sourroundings

Sols 4672 & 4674, March 16 & 18, 2017. Opportunity has halted on a low ridge to shoot Pancam color frames on the outcrops nearby. Above, a Navcam composite from Sol 4672 looks south, with yellow outlining the general area … Continue reading

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Mars rings: Not now, but maybe someday

As children, we learned about our solar system’s planets by certain characteristics — Jupiter is the largest, Saturn has rings, Mercury is closest to the sun. Mars is red, but it’s possible that one of our closest neighbors also had … Continue reading

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THEMIS: Sand sea in Rabe Crater

THEMIS Image of the Day, March 20, 2017. Today’s false color image shows part of the floor of Rabe Crater, which is covered mostly with a wind-shaped sea of sand. The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from … Continue reading

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Curiosity: Rocky path ahead

Sol 1639, March 17, 2017. While Curiosity is studying rocks and sand immediately in front of it, rover drivers are planning a path southward toward Mt. Sharp. Sand lies everywhere, but so do rocks which will help prevent Curiosity from … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Layered deposits in Uzboi Vallis

Layered deposits in Uzboi Vallis sometimes occur in alcoves along the valley and/or below where tributaries enter it. These deposits may record deposition into a large lake that once filled Uzboi Vallis when it was temporarily dammed at its northern … Continue reading

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