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Pretty pictures of terraced craters on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • February 27, 2014

Check out this unusual crater on Mars. It's not a very big one, less than 500 meters in diameter, and yet it has two rings. Most craters on Mars this size are simple bowl shapes. What's going on here?

Mars Express team readies for Siding Spring

ESA Mars Express Team • February 26, 2014

On Sunday, 19 October 2014, at around 18:30 UTC, comet C/2013 A1 – known widely as 'Siding Spring' after the Australian observatory where it was discovered in January 2013 – will make a close fly-by of Mars.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3572 – February 10, 2014

Larry Crumpler • February 25, 2014

Opportunity is still exploring an outcrop high up on Murray Ridge as the winter solstice on Mars approaches. At this location the tilts are good, so Opportunity is getting excellent solar input on its solar panels.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3556 – January 24, 2014

Larry Crumpler • February 25, 2014

Today is the tenth anniversary of Opportunity's landing on Mars. Here at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, we just opened a tenth anniversary exhibit.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3519 - December 18, 2013

Larry Crumpler • February 25, 2014

Opportunity arrived at the location that has been the target of all this climbing since late last (Earth) summer. We will settle in for some detailed work on the outcrop here since this appears to be something different from the impact breccias that we have been seeing along the ridge crest.

A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

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.

Intro Astronomy Class 1: Tour of the Solar System

Bruce Betts • February 11, 2014

Take a tour of the Solar System in the video of class 1 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

New Hills, Old Secrets

Bill Dunford • February 10, 2014

Exploring a set of newly named hills on Mars reveals tantalizing clues to the planet's story.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finds Mystery Rock, Mission Celebrates 10 Years

A.J.S. Rayl • February 07, 2014

In the storied history of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission, January 2014 will likely be remembered as one of the most memorable months of all.

The Mars Exploration Family Portrait is expanding, and I need your help

Jason Davis • February 06, 2014

The Mars Exploration Family Portrait is expanding to cover the entire solar system! But before we proceed, I'm asking for feedback.

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.

Take My Free Online College Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy CSUDH Class

Bruce Betts • February 05, 2014

Our own Dr. Bruce Betts is once again teaching his Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy college course online. Come join him.

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.

The Faces of Mars

Bill Dunford • February 03, 2014

Portraits of a planet.

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.

Conspiracy Theorist Sues NASA, Wastes Everybody's Time

Casey Dreier • January 31, 2014

The "jelly doughnut" rock found next to Opportunity is the focus of a new lawsuit alleging that NASA is not properly looking for life.

Curiosity update: imaging the nonfunctioning REMS boom, closer to Dingo Gap

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2014

At long last, on sol 526, Curiosity imaged the part of the weather instrument that was damaged during landing, but no obvious damage is visible, to me anyway. On sol 527 they drove even closer to Dingo Gap, with plans to drive onto the dune in the sol 528 drive.

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