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Curiosity catches sunspots along with Phobos and Deimos transits

Emily Lakdawalla • October 03, 2012

Curiosity has been shooting photos of the Sun as Phobos and Deimos cross its face, and -- as far as I can tell -- captured sunspots as well.

Beautiful rocks ahead at Glenelg, but first, Curiosity must dig in the sand

Emily Lakdawalla • October 01, 2012

A beautiful panoramic view of the varied rocks of Glenelg has been transmitted from Curiosity on Mars. But before going any further, it's time to run the first Martian sand through the soil sampling system.

What's Up in the Solar System in October 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2012

Welcome to my monthly survey of the activities of robots across the solar system! Tomorrow is the equinox at Mars; both Curiosity and Opportunity will be spending the month actively analyzing Martian rocks. It'll be a less active month for Cassini, as Saturn passes through solar conjunction late next month.

Curiosity Update, Sol 52: Glenelg Ho!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 28, 2012

Curiosity has pulled up to the edge of Glenelg, its first destination within Gale crater.

An alien moon, photographed from the surface of an alien world

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2012

Curiosity has successfully photographed a crescent Phobos in a bright daylit Martian sky.

Cosmoquest Science Hour, Wednesday: A virtual field trip to the hills on Curiosity's horizon

Emily Lakdawalla • September 25, 2012

I'm hosting this week's Cosmoquest Science Hour, and plan to take viewers on a virtual tour of those mountains on Curiosity's horizon, and show you where Curiosity is likely to go. Join me and Fraser Cain here at 1600 PDT / 2300 UTC Wednesday.

Curiosity sol 43 update: First science stop

Emily Lakdawalla • September 19, 2012

It's now the early hours of sol 44, and JPL held a phone briefing today with the latest news from Curiosity. She's now driven about 300 meters, and has stopped at her first science target, a rock the team has named for the late Jake Matijevic.

Pretty picture: rocks underfoot at Curiosity's landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2012

An amateur-processed mosaic of some intriguing-looking broken rocks along Curiosity's traverse. They were intriguing enough to photograph with the Mastcam -- but not enough to stop and check them out, as Curiosity has already rolled on.

Curiosity sol 38 update: arm tests done, on the road again, and an important question answered

Emily Lakdawalla • September 14, 2012

Curiosity has completed Commissioning Activity Period 2 and is on the road again. I asked Daniel Limonadi to explain a couple of the photos of tests being performed on CHIMRA, and took the opportunity to ask him an amusing question that came up during a previous Google+ Hangout.

Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour replay: What's up with Curiosity on Mars, with guest: me! (yes, again)

Emily Lakdawalla • September 12, 2012

Fraser Cain and I had a wide-ranging conversation about Curiosity's recent activities on Mars during the Cosmoquest Astronomy Hour.

MAHLI sees Curiosity's wheels firmly on Martian ground

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2012

MAHLI opened its "eye" on sol 33, seeing Mars clearly for the first time. On sol 34, Curiosity used MAHLI to survey the parts that Mastcam can't see, including a view right underneath the rover.

Hello, beautiful!

Emily Lakdawalla • September 07, 2012

Curiosity's much-anticipated self-portrait with the MAHLI camera just arrived on Earth, and even though it was shot through the dust cover it is AWESOME.

Checking in on Curiosity after sol 30

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2012

Curiosity completed the "Intermission" phase on sol 29, and began checking out the robotic arm.

Knots on Mars

David J. Fred • September 05, 2012

It might surprise most people to learn that multitudes of knots tied in cords and thin ribbons have probably traveled on every interplanetary mission ever flown. If human civilization ends tomorrow, interplanetary landers, orbiters, and deep space probes will preserve evidence of both the oldest and newest of human technologies for thousands, if not millions of years.

An amazing LEGO model of Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • September 03, 2012

A petite model of Curiosity in LEGO accurately represents many of its features and functions.

What's Up in the Solar System in September 2012

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012

It's an active time in interplanetary exploration! Curiosity has begun roving Mars, and Opportunity's not wasting any time either. Dawn has just departed Vesta and begun the more than two-year cruise to Ceres. Juno is in the middle of a big deep-space maneuver, setting up next year's Earth flyby.

HiRISE's best view of Curiosity yet

Emily Lakdawalla • August 31, 2012

HiRISE's best opportunity to view Curiosity so far came 12 days after landing, when the orbiter passed nearly directly overhead. The photo resolves amazing detail on the huge rover.

Explaining the new black-and-white Mastcam and MARDI raw images

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2012

If you've been obsessively checking the Curiosity raw images websites for new pictures from Mars, you might have noticed something weird: a bunch of Mastcam images and a few from MARDI that are black-and-white instead of color, and which have a peculiar checkerboard pattern.

The definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama

Emily Lakdawalla • August 23, 2012

The top of the mountain has finally been filled in, and Damien Bouic has produced what I think is the definitive version of Curiosity's first color panorama.

Sampling Mars, Part 4: Commissioning the Rover and Sampling System

Daniel Limonadi • August 22, 2012

Completing a multi-part guest blog series by Curiosity systems engineering team lead for the Surface Sampling and Science system. Part 4 explains the lengthy process of testing and using the system for the first time.

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