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Blog Archive

 

Moonset over Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • April 21, 2016

Enjoy this serene image of a moonset on another world, captured by Curiosity's Mastcam in April 2014 and processed here by Justin Cowart.

Atmospheric Waves Awareness: An Explainer

Anna Scott • April 20, 2016

There are two types of atmospheric waves that are critically important on Earth and other planets: gravity waves and planetary waves.

A new angle on Mars for Mars Odyssey

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2016

Mars Odyssey has been in space for 15 years. It flies in a special "sun-synchronous" orbit, crossing the equator at roughly the same local time every day. Over time, the Odyssey mission has changed what that local time of day is, and I just realized something cool about how those changes show up in the geometry of its images.

Curiosity update, sols 1250-1310: Across the Naukluft Plateau

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2016

Curiosity has driven onward from Namib dune across a highstanding unit of rock called the Naukluft Plateau. Despite some frustrating sols lost to a short circuit in the RTG and DSN troubles, the rover has made progress, and performed lots of 3D imaging of weirdly wind-eroded rocks.

LPSC 2016: Martian Geomorphology

Tanya Harrison • April 04, 2016

Scientists showcased a wide range of features and processes on Mars' surface at last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Soldiers through Martian March Madness

A.J.S. Rayl • April 04, 2016

As March Madness on Earth sent sports fans into their annual kinetic frenzy watching more than 60 American teams battle it out for college basketball’s grandest title, Opportunity was experiencing her own Martian brand of March Madness.

A Sunset on Mars: Crafting a scene from archival data

Justin Cowart • March 08, 2016

Ever wanted to stand on Mars and watch a sunset? Unfortunately for many of us, it will never be something that we get to experience in person. But thanks to our robotic emissaries on Mars, and some careful processing of images from NASA's Planetary Data System, we can get a sense of what it’s like.

Mars Express VMC is back online

Emily Lakdawalla • March 04, 2016

Mars Express' Visual Monitoring Camera is taking photos again! The camera was turned on for the first time in six months on Leap Day to take some lovely photos of Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scales Knudsen Ridge and Rocks On

A.J.S. Rayl • March 03, 2016

As the Martian winter slowly begins to recede, Opportunity is working away on the steep slopes of Knudsen Ridge at the southern end of Marathon Valley, showing her mettle in some of the most challenging terrain of the rover’s 12+ years on the Red Planet.

MENCA brings divine wealth from Mars: First science results from the Mars Orbiter Mission

Syed Maqbool Ahmed • March 02, 2016

MENCA (Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser) is a quadrupole mass spectrometer onboard India's Mars Orbiter Mission, MOM. A report on measurements of neutral species accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters is the first peer-reviewed scientific result from the mission.

Atlanta Students Bring Mars to Earth

Mark Sequeira • February 26, 2016

A group of students from Georgia, USA, were able to explore Mars through the Mars Express #VMCschools campaign, with a little help from The Planetary Society's image processing tutorials.

Light plays on a Martian crater rim

Emily Lakdawalla • February 16, 2016

Recently, space image processing enthusiast Thomas Appéré noticed that Curiosity had taken five photos of exactly the same spot on the rim of Gale crater, identical but for being taken at different times of day. That spot was due north of the rover, so the rising and lowering Sun illuminates the rounded hummocks of the crater rim differently from early morning to early afternoon.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4284 - February 11, 2016

Larry Crumpler • February 11, 2016

Opportunity is continuing to explore the outcrops Marathon Valley, on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

Curiosity update, sols 1218-1249: Digging in the sand at Bagnold Dunes

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2016

Curiosity has spent the last month sampling and processing dark sand scooped from the side of Namib Dune. The rover has now departed Namib and is preparing to cross the Bagnold dune field, while working to diagnose an anomaly with the CHIMRA sample handling mechanism.

HiRISE image coverage of the Curiosity field site on Mars, Version 3.0

Emily Lakdawalla • February 05, 2016

There have been tons and tons of HiRISE images of the Curiosity landing region, and it has taken quite a lot of work for me to find, locate, and catalogue them. This post is a summary of what I've found; after five revisions and updates, it's now version 3.0 of the list.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Turns 12! Embarks on Electric Slide

A.J.S. Rayl • February 04, 2016

On January 24th, the veteran Mars Exploration Rover (MER) wrapped the last day of her 12th year of surface operations on Mars, marking an extraordinary, historic achievement for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4270 - January 28, 2016

Larry Crumpler • January 29, 2016

On January 23rd, Opportunity celebrated its 12th anniversary of landing on Mars.

Wide views of Mars from Mars Express

Emily Lakdawalla • January 27, 2016

Geologist and amateur space image processor Justin Cowart has dug into the Mars Express archives and located some lovely, wide views across great swaths of the Martian globe.

NASA Could Choose Mars Human Landing Site during next Presidential Administration

Jason Davis • January 22, 2016

The place NASA intends to the land the first humans on Mars could be selected during the next presidential administration, according to the agency’s planetary science division director, Jim Green.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes Another Record Year, Approaches 12th Anniversary

A.J.S. Rayl • January 08, 2016

Perched on the southern wall of Marathon Valley at Endeavour Crater, Opportunity braved temperatures descending well below -100° F in December to work the winter science campaign and home in on the remnants of ancient clays.

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