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A Spin Through the Inner Solar System

Bill Dunford • February 24, 2014 • 1

Animated maps of the planets show the spheres in motion.

Sand Waves in the Desert

Lori Fenton • February 21, 2014 • 1

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 • 3

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 • 5

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 • 1

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 • 1

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

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

Jason Davis • February 06, 2014 • 14

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 • 10

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 • 9

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 • 3

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.

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