1. museumuesum:

    Erik Olson

    I Fucking Love Space, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Mercury, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Venus, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Earth, 2011
    oil on canvas, 72 x 84 inches

    Mars, Fear & Dread, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Jupiter, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Saturn, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Uranus, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    Neptune, 2011
    oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches

    The Gateway (Hubble Deep Field), 2011
    oil on canvas, 72 x 84 inches

     

  2. discoverynews:

    Curiosity Snaps Selfies, Begins Mars Rock Drill

    NASA’s rover Curiosity has begun drilling operations for the third time on Mars. Currently located at a geologically interesting location nicknamed “The Kimberley,” the one-ton rover also took the opportunity to photograph itself and the surrounding landscape in some stunning Martian “selfies.” View the gallery

    (via n-a-s-a)

     

  3. Water seems to flow freely on Mars

    Any areas of water could be off-limits to all but the cleanest spacecraft.

    Dark streaks that hint at seasonally flowing water have been spotted near the equator of Mars1. The potentially habitable oases are enticing targets for research. But spacecraft will probably have to steer clear of them unless the craft are carefully sterilized — a costly safeguard against interplanetary contamination that may rule out the sites for exploration.

    River-like valleys attest to the flow of water on ancient Mars, but today the planet is dry and has an atmosphere that is too thin to support liquid water on the surface for long. However, intriguing clues suggest that water may still run across the surface from time to time.

    In 2011, for example, researchers who analysed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft observed dark streaks a few metres wide that appeared and lengthened at the warmest time of the year, then faded in cooler seasons, reappearing in subsequent years2. “This behaviour is easy to understand if these are seeps of water,” says planetary scientist Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona in Tucson, who led that study. “Water will darken most soils.”

    The streaks, known as recurring slope lineae, initially were found at seven sites in Mars’s southern mid-latitudes. The water may have come from ice trapped about a metre below the surface; indeed, the MRO has spotted such ice in fresh impact craters at those latitudes.

    McEwen and his colleagues have now found the reappearing streaks near the equator, including in the gargantuan Valles Marineris canyon that lies just south of it. The MRO has turned up 12 new sites — each of which has hundreds or thousands of streaks — within 25 degrees of the equator. The temperatures there are relatively warm throughout the year, says McEwen, and without a mechanism for replenishment, any subsurface ice would probably already have sublimated.

    He says that this suggests that water may come from groundwater deep in the crust, which could have implications for Martian life: “The subsurface is probably the best place to find present-day life if it exists at all because it is protected from the radiation and temperature extremes,” he says. “Maybe some of that water occasionally leaks out onto the surface, where we could see evidence for that subsurface life.”

     

  4. This full-circle view combined nearly 900 images taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, generating a panorama with 1.3 billion pixels in the full-resolution version. The view is centered toward the south, with north at both ends. It shows Curiosity at the “Rocknest” site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand. Curiosity used three cameras to take the component images on several different days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012.


    Viewers can explore this image with pan and zoom controls at http://mars.nasa.gov/bp1/ .

    This first NASA-produced gigapixel image from the surface of Mars is a mosaic using 850 frames from the telephoto camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam’s wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames - mostly of the rover itself - from the Navigation Camera. It was produced by the Multiple-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    This version of the panorama retains “raw” color, as seen by the camera on Mars under Mars lighting conditions. A white-balanced version is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16918 . The view shows illumination effects from variations in the time of day for pieces of the mosaic. It also shows variations in the clarity of the atmosphere due to variable dustiness during the month while the images were acquired.

    NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory project is using Curiosity and the rover’s 10 science instruments to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life.

    Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Curiosity’s Mastcam. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington and built the Navigation Camera and the rover.

    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

     

  5. jtotheizzoe:

    Solar Eclipse on Mars

    The Curiosity rover captured Mars’ moon Phobos as it traveled in front of the sun on August 20, 2013. The sequence above is taken from photos snapped three seconds apart and spliced into video form.

    This sort of eclipse, where the nearer body doesn’t quite cover the sun, is called an annular eclipse, after the Latin word for “ring-shaped”.

    These sort of annular astronomical coincidences happen on Earth, too, since our distance from the moon changes throughout each body’s elliptical orbit. Beautiful stuff:

    Curiosity is becoming quite the skywatcher. Last month it aimed its camera up and captured Mars’ two moons in one shot!

    (via itsfullofstars)

     

  6. Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos, as Seen by Curiosity

    This set of three images shows views three seconds apart as the larger of Mars’ two moons, Phobos, passed directly in front of the sun as seen by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Curiosity photographed this annular, or ring, eclipse with the telephoto-lens camera of the rover’s Mast Camera pair (right Mastcam) on Aug. 17, 2013, the 369th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars.

    Curiosity paused during its drive that sol for a set of observations that the camera team carefully calculated to record this celestial event. The rover’s observations of Phobos help researchers to make measurements of the moon’s orbit even more precise. Because this eclipse occurred near mid-day at Curiosity’s location on Mars, Phobos was nearly overhead, closer to the rover than it would have been earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. This timing made Phobos’ silhouette larger against the sun — as close to a total eclipse of the sun as is possible from Mars.

    Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Mastcam. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission’s Curiosity rover for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

    For more about NASA’s Curiosity mission, visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/mslhttp://www.nasa.gov/mars, andhttp://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

     

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  8. canadian-space-agency:

    Thanks to this stunning colour movie from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, you can see what it would be like to glide through part of the largest canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris.

    Watch the movie here: http://ow.ly/n7Y0a

    Credit: ESA Kids

    (Source: esa.int)

     

  9. MastCam 100 - Sol 343

    A nice close-up shot of the mounds, or hills. Used a mask on the 4 corners of each image to counter the vignetting. Also sharpened for clarity.

     

  10. NASA/JPL:

    Billion-Pixel View From Curiosity at Rock Nest, Raw Color

    This image is a scaled-down version of a full-circle view which combined nearly 900 images taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. The Full-Res TIFF and Full-Res JPEG … are smaller resolution versions of the 1.3 billion pixel version for easier browser viewing and downloading. Viewers can explore the full-circle image with pan and zoom controls at http://mars.nasa.gov/bp1/.

    The view is centered toward the south, with north at both ends. It shows Curiosity at the “Rocknest” site where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand. Curiosity used three cameras to take the component images on several different days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012.

    This first NASA-produced gigapixel image from the surface of Mars is a mosaic using 850 frames from the telephoto camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam’s wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames — mostly of the rover itself — from the Navigation Camera. It was produced by the Multiple-Mission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    This version of the panorama retains “raw” color, as seen by the camera on Mars under Mars lighting conditions. A white-balanced version is available at PIA16918. The view shows illumination effects from variations in the time of day for pieces of the mosaic. It also shows variations in the clarity of the atmosphere due to variable dustiness during the month while the images were acquired.

    NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory project is using Curiosity and the rover’s 10 science instruments to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life.

    Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Curiosity’s Mastcam. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington and built the Navigation Camera and the rover.

     

  11. wolframalpha:

    The Spirit Mars rover was launched 10 years ago today.

    It performed all its functions using less power than a hand blender.

     

  12. itsfullofstars:

    First Image of Mars

    Taken by the Viking 1 lander shortly after it touched down on Mars, this image is the first photograph ever taken from the surface of Mars. It was taken on July 20, 1976. The primary objectives of the Viking mission, which was composed of two spacecraft, were to obtain high-resolution images of the Martian surface, characterize the structure and composition of the atmosphere and surface and search for evidence of life on Mars.

    (Source: crookedindifference)

     

  13. Mount Sharp Panorama

    This mosaic of images from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows Mount Sharp in raw color  as recorded by the camera. Raw color shows the scene’s colors as they would look in a typical smart-phone camera photo, before any adjustment. [White-balancing version can be found here.]

    Mount Sharp, also called Aeolis Mons, is a layered mound in the center of Mars’ Gale Crater, rising more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor, where Curiosity has been working since the rover’s landing in August 2012. Lower slopes of Mount Sharp are the major destination for the mission, though the rover will first spend many more weeks around a location called “Yellowknife Bay,” where it has found evidence of a past environment favorable for microbial life.

    This mosaic was assembled from dozens of images from the 100-millimeter-focal-length telephoto lens camera mounted on the right side of the Mastcam instrument. The component images were taken during the 45th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s mission on Mars (Sept. 20, 2012). The sky has been filled out by extrapolating color and brightness information from the portions of the sky that were captured in images of the terrain.

     

  14. discoverynews:

    Mars Was a Suitable Environment for Life

    The first analysis of powder drilled out from the inside of water-soaked rock shows Mars was a suitable place for microbial life to evolve, scientists with NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity mission said Tuesday.

    The ingredients may be there… but was life? Read more

     

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