MARCI weather report, June 11-17, 2018

MARCI-June-16-2018The massive dust storm reported in the previous update, persisted over many regions of Mars last week. At the beginning of the week, a local-scale dust storm was spotted southwest of Gale Crater. Active lifting associated with the major storm was observed over Hellas, Utopia, and Cimmeria. This activity caused most of the eastern hemisphere to be obscured by dust, including the Curiosity rover site in Gale Crater. The western hemisphere experienced transient dust storms above Solis, Daedalia, and east of the volcanoes, Pavonis and Arsia. Orographic water-ice clouds were present over Alba Mons and Tempe Terra for much of the week. Looking to the southern hemisphere, dust haze lofted… [More at link, including video]

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Curiosity: Looking north toward an invisible rim

2087-navcam2087-rmiSol 2087, June 20, 2018. Seven Navcam frames composited into a panorama show that dusty air is hiding the north rim of Gale Crater. Duluth lies in the foreground, near left.

At right is the Remote Micro-Imager’s four-frame take on Ambridge, a rock broken by the rover’s wheels earlier. Both images enlarge when clicked.

Sol 2087 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location.

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Curiosity update: Dusty skies

NLB_582507803EDR_F0710000NCAM00267M_-br2Sol 2086, June 20, 2018, update by MSL scientist Scott Guzewich:  The dust storm that is challenging Opportunity closed in on Gale Crater over the weekend with a substantial increase in dust levels. The storm is no threat to nuclear-powered Curiosity and provides an amazing chance for new science. This is the first chance to take surface meteorological measurements from inside such a large dust storm. Two sols ago, this [right] was the murky view from Navcam looking behind the rover and the amount of dust increased even more as of yestersol.

Today’s plan features a wide range of observations to study the storm as part of our “dust storm campaign” including a Navcam dust devil survey, suprahorizon movie, and a zenith movie. We’re also testing how quickly the amount of dust varies by doing a pair of Navcam line-of-sight dust measurements 15 minutes apart and… [More at link]

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Weather update from Gale Crater

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THEMIS: On the shore of a sea of sand

At the shores of a sea of sand (THEMIS_IOTD_20180620)THEMIS Image of the Day, June 20, 2018. This VIS image shows a small part of the huge northern dune field called Olympia Undae. This dune field surrounds 1/3 of the north polar cap. Collected in northern summer, there is no frost remaining on the dunes in this image.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Curiosity: Duluth’s delicate weathering

2084-mastcam34Sol 2084, June 17, 2018. The increasing dust in the atmosphere over Gale Crater is darkening and reddening images taken at the surface there. Above is a series of composited Mastcam 34mm frames on the rock named Duluth, which shows the recent drill site with a little mound of tailings around it.

Click the image to enlarge it, and note the intricate weathering of the layers and mineral veins. Such delicate features would not survive long on a terrestrial rock.

Sol 2084 raw images (from all cameras), and Curiosity’s latest location.

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HiRISE: Layers to behold

tumblr_pakw6aNea51rlz4gso1_1280Layers to behold. A scarp and more on layered deposits in Ceti Mensa.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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THEMIS: Dunes and sand sheet in Rabe Crater

Dune cascade in Rabe Crater (THEMIS_IOTD_20180619)THEMIS Image of the Day, June 19, 2018. The large sand sheet with surface dune forms seen in this VIS image is located on the complex floor of Rabe Crater. The sand is likely derived by erosion into the deposit that fills most of the crater floor, creating a pit which hosts the dunes. This crater morphology is unique to Rabe Crater. Rabe Crater is part of Noachis Terra.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Curiosity update: 30 sols and done

NLB_582315339EDR_F0701752NCAM00320M_Sols 2083-85, June 18, 2018, update by MSL scientist Christopher Edwards: The last time Curiosity drove anywhere was 30 martian days ago. A lot has happened in these past 30 sols. The rover got its groove back and successfully carried out a feed extended percussion drill activity and delivered drilled rock powder samples to the analytical instruments internal to the rover. These two instruments are the CheMin X-Ray Diffractometer and the SAM mass spectrometer/gas chromatograph/tunable laser spectrometer suite, which have been without fresh samples to analyze for months. Of course over the time while the drill was inoperable, Curiosity still carried out some fantastic scientific investigations examining the nature of the Vera Rubin Ridge. With its newly resurrected drilling capabilities, Curiosity will do one last pass over the Vera Rubin Ridge units, now that the rest of the instrument suite onboard can have access to this and future drill samples… [More at link]

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HiRISE: Of dunes and their stories

tumblr_paj0t3bMmL1rlz4gso1_1280Of dunes and their stories. So far no seasonal changes have been detected here, making this site unique.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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