Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/17 07:33 CDT
Much has been made of the "enigmatic mound" within Gale crater, which will be the target of the Curiosity Mars rover's investigations. The 5,000-meter-thick section rocks in Gale's central mound will be fascinating to study, but the fact that Gale has a central mound that's taller than its rim is not at all unusual on Mars.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/07 11:16 CDT
Regular readers of this blog will find the content of today's 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast familiar, because it's an update on what the solar system exploration spacecraft are up to, based on my monthly "what's up" updates.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/03/31 03:59 CDT
April 2011 will see MESSENGER begin the science phase of its orbital mission at Mercury, and should, I think, also see the start of Dawn's approach observations of Vesta. At Mars, Opportunity is back on the road again, rolling inexorably toward Endeavour. At Saturn, Cassini will continue its focus on Saturn and Titan science.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/14 10:50 CST
In the past couple of months I've received several emails from scientists offering clarifications, corrections, or alternative points of view to previous posts, which is awesome and something that I enthusiastically encourage. Here's one of them.
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.
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.
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?
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...
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.
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").
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.