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Two views of Santa Maria, from orbit and from the ground

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/04 11:27 CST

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has just snapped another photo of Opportunity sitting on the ground on Mars. These pictures never get old.

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Door 24 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/24 04:28 CST

Each day until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these squirrely spots?

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Opportunity: "So close we can taste it" to Santa Maria

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/14 01:18 CST

Opportunity is on a kilometers-long eastward road trip across Meridiani Planum toward the rim of a large ancient crater named Endeavour; it'll be many months yet before she gets there.

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Door 11 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/11 02:35 CST

Time to open the eleventh door in the advent calendar. Until the New Year, I'll be opening a door onto a different landscape from somewhere in the solar system. Where in the solar system are these sinuous ridges?

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Door 4 in the 2010 advent calendar

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/12/04 02:03 CST

Time to open the fourth door in the advent calendar. Where in the solar system is this crater-specked mound?

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Fly over Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/11/08 11:19 CST

Adrian Lark has posted several new flights over gorgeous Martian landscapes to his Youtube channel. My favorite of his recent ones is this dive into Zumba crater.

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Mars Climate Sounder Watches Mars Weather to Prepare for Curiosity Landing

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/30 12:46 CDT

I just posted the following update to the Mars Climate Sounder Team Website. I didn't realize until this message came in to my inbox that it is now one Mars year before Curiosity lands. Tick, tick, tick...

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Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 2: Reports from Ryan Anderson

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/30 11:37 CDT

I left the first day of the Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop on Monday just as they were getting in to the site-specific presentations. I left with no concern that I'd miss anything, though, because I knew that once he got done presenting his own work on Gale Crater, Cornell grad student Ryan Anderson would be taking notes and blogging the presentations on the other three sites.

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Mars Climate Sounder Watches Mars Weather to Prepare for Curiosity Landing

Posted by David Kass on 2010/09/29 12:00 CDT

Two weeks ago Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) started a four-week campaign to support entry, descent, and landing phase for the next Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory (or "Curiosity").

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Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: Day 1 notes: Introduction, biosignatures, and mineralogy

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/28 05:57 CDT

I apologize in advance for the expanse of text, but I hope that some of you will find the details interesting.

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Fourth MSL Landing Site Workshop: A review

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/09/27 05:59 CDT

Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, about 200 scientists and engineers will sit in an over-air-conditioned room in Monrovia, California to participate in what is officially titled the "Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop."

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Successor to Mars Climate Orbiter will fly aboard ExoMars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/30 03:20 CDT

Congratulations to the Mars Climate Sounder team on winning a spot for a successor instrument aboard the next Mars orbiter, the joint NASA-ESA ExoMars, set to launch in 2016.

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Bringing MOLA altimetry tracks into Google Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/27 05:02 CDT

I've had a fun morning of noodling around learning how to write KML files, and have produced one for Google Mars that shows you all of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter tracks that cross the area Opportunity has driven through already, as well as the area of Endeavour crater.

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Tracing the Big Picture of Mars' Atmosphere

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2010/08/26 12:00 CDT

One of the instruments on a 2016 mission to orbit Mars will provide daily maps of global, pole-to-pole, vertical distributions of the temperature, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere.

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The enigmatic mounds of Acidalia Planitia

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/08/04 04:18 CDT

Acidalia Planitia is a large basin in Mars' northern lowlands, a dark splotch visible even from Earth telescopes.

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Observing the Martian Atmosphere for Two Mars Years

Posted by David Kass on 2010/07/13 12:00 CDT

June 29, 2010 was the second Martian anniversary of the start of Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) observations at Mars.

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3D Anaglyph: Troughs or vents in Cerberus Fossae?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/07/12 12:55 CDT

OK, it's time to look silly in your red-blue glasses again! When Tanya Harrison sent me those awesome 3D views of Olympica Fossae from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's CTX camera, she sent me two other sets of 3D landscapes on Mars.

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Phoenix is dead...long live Phoenix!

Posted by Emily LakdawallaBruce Betts on 2010/06/02 03:11 CDT

The latest HiRISE images of the Phoenix polar lander, taken near Mars' northern summer solstice, show why we haven't heard from the spacecraft since it fell silent on November 2, 2008: it appears the solar panels have collapsed.

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Happy solstice -- on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/13 04:43 CDT

It's the solstice on Mars today: summer in the north, winter in the south.

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Morphology and mineralogy on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/05 11:16 CDT

A recent entry by Bethany Ehlmann from the blog of the Planetary Geomorphology Working Group of the International Association of Geomorphologists demonstrates how you can combine the power of different types of data to tease out a rich story of the past history of one spot on Mars.

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