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Image processing trick: Removing interline transfer smear from Curiosity photos

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2014

Curiosity took a new self-portrait on sol 613. This post contains a tip for would-be Curiosity image processors on how to make their Curiosity mosaics better: removing the smearing effect of bright objects in MAHLI photos.

Curiosity update, sols 597-610: Picking a drill site at the Kimberley

Emily Lakdawalla • April 24, 2014

After completing the initial reconnaissance of the Kimberley outcrop two weeks ago, Curiosity is, at last, moving toward a drill site. The science team selected the location last week: a spot near the base of Mount Remarkable, into what they have been calling the "middle unit" at the Kimberley.

Pretty picture: Sunset over Gale crater

Emily Lakdawalla • April 14, 2014

Imagine yourself on a windswept landscape of rocks and red dust with mountains all around you. The temperature -- never warm on this planet -- suddenly plunges, as the small Sun sets behind the western range of mountains.

Curiosity update: Initial reconnaissance of the Kimberley, sols 585-595

Emily Lakdawalla • April 11, 2014

Curiosity has been busy performing a survey of the Kimberley, walking the length of the outcrop and taking enormous quantities of photos. The team is now ready to go in for a closer look, and maybe even to drill.

Will We Finally Rove Mawrth Vallis?

J. Brian Balta • April 10, 2014

Mawrth Vallis was axed as a landing site for Curiosity, but will we get a chance to explore it with ESA's ExoMars rover?

How Does NASA's Ban on Russian Contact Affect Curiosity?

Casey Dreier • April 04, 2014

Earlier this week, NASA announced that it was cutting off ties with Russia, except for activities relating to the ISS. This raised questions about Russian participation on NASA's science missions, particularly the Russian experiment on the Curiosity rover.

Great new image of Curiosity from HiRISE, just across Dingo Gap

Emily Lakdawalla • April 03, 2014

A Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE image taken on February 10 shows Curiosity having just made deep, dark tracks across the Dingo Gap dune.

Curiosity update, sols 570-583: Arrival at Kimberley and preparation for an arm workout

Emily Lakdawalla • March 28, 2014

Some arm faults caused delays on Curiosity's approach to Kimberley, but the rover is now parked at its north edge, examining the "striated unit" up close with arm-mounted instruments.

Snapshots of Science from the 2014 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Emily Lakdawalla • March 25, 2014

Vignettes from dozens of LPSC talks: GRAIL and LADEE at the Moon; ice and craters and conglomerates and organics and gullies on Mars; polar deposits and volatile elements on Mercury; tectonics on Enceladus; and more, until my brain was so full I could barely speak.

Curiosity update, sols 563-569: Kimberley ahoy!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 16, 2014

With a series of drives over the last week, Curiosity is now approaching her next science stop at Kimberley. The distinctive knobs of the Kimberley outcrop are visible in photos taken on sol 569.

Intro Astronomy Class 6: Mars (continued) and Asteroids

Bruce Betts • March 14, 2014

Continue exploring Mars and learn about asteroids in this video of class 6 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy Class 5: Venus (continued) and Mars

Bruce Betts • March 06, 2014

Continue exploring Venus and begin looking at Mars in this video of class 5 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Curiosity update, sols 549-562: Shooting past Kylie on the road to Kimberley

Emily Lakdawalla • March 06, 2014

In a series of drives, Curiosity flew past the "striated terrain" that outcropped at Kylie, and is now negotiating her way around some rockier territory as she makes her way south toward the enticing outcrops of Kimberley.

A new map of Mars from some pretty old data

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2014

The United States Geological Survey recently issued an improved version of the Viking color map of Mars. This 40-year-old data set still provides the prettiest global-scale map of the planet.

Sand Waves in the Desert

Lori Fenton • February 21, 2014

I have a pet peeve: the words dune and ripple are often used interchangeably, although they are quite distinct from one another. So what’s the difference between aeolian dunes and ripples? And why should anybody care?

Curiosity update, sols 540-8: New rules and longer drives

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2014

Curiosity has tested a new driving mode -- backwards -- and achieved their longest single-day drive in three months. And they've committed to driving to the spot formerly known as "KMS-9," marking that commitment by giving it a name, "Kimberley." My route maps show you why Curiosity's views will be shifting, and Ken Herkenhoff's blog posts explain the daily activities.

Curiosity Update, sols 534-540: Over Dingo Gap, onto softer sand

Emily Lakdawalla • February 13, 2014

After more than two months of very slow driving due to concern about the wheels and time spent choosing whether to enter "Dingo Gap" or not, Curiosity has safely crossed the dune and resumed longer drives, achieving 75 meters and crossing the 5-kilometer mark on sol 540.

Looking Backward: Curiosity gazes upon the setting Earth

Emily Lakdawalla • February 05, 2014

A few days ago, Curiosity looked westward after sunset and photographed Earth setting toward the mountainous rim of Gale crater.

Curiosity update, sols 521-533: Assessing Dingo Gap

Ken Herkenhoff • February 04, 2014

While continuing to perform regular wheel health assessments, Curiosity took a sharp right turn and headed for Dingo Gap. On sol 533, they performed a "toe dip" that parked the rover atop the dune with a good view down into the valley.

Beautiful view into the valley beyond Dingo Gap, Curiosity sol 528

Emily Lakdawalla • January 31, 2014

A beautiful Mastcam panorama from sol 528 shows a landscape so much more like Earth than anything we've explored on the Martian surface before.

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