1. 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.

     

  2. 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.

     

  3. 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.

     

  4. 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

     

  5. Curiosity Rover’s Self Portrait at ‘John Klein’ Drilling Site

    This self-portrait of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity combines 66 exposures taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013).

    The rover is positioned at a patch of flat outcrop called “John Klein,” which was selected as the site for the first rock-drilling activities by Curiosity. The self-portrait was acquired to document the drilling site.

    The rover’s robotic arm is not visible in the mosaic. MAHLI, which took the component images for this mosaic, is mounted on a turret at the end of the arm. Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic’s component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images or portions of images used in the mosaic.

    Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

     

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  7. n-a-s-a:

    Matijevic Hill Panorama

    Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State U.

    On January 25 (UT) 2004, the Opportunity rover fell to Mars, making today the 9th anniversary of its landing. After more than 3,200 sols (Mars solar days) the golf cart-sized robot from Earth is still actively exploring the Red Planet, though its original mission plan was for three months. Having driven some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from its landing site, Opportunity’s panoramic camera recorded the segments of this scene, in November and December of last year. The digitally stitched panorama spans more than 210 degrees across the Matijevic Hill area along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Features dubbed Copper Cliff, a dark outcrop, appear at the left, and Whitewater Lake, a bright outcrop, at the far right. The image is presented here in a natural color approximation of what the scene would look like to human eyes.

     

  8. Mars Rover Opportunity Finds ‘Rich’ Clay Deposits: “A new study looks at chemicals spotted by a Mars-orbiting spacecraft to conclude that Endeavour Crater, which Opportunity reached in August 2011 after a 1,000-plus day, 13-mile trek across the plains of Meridian, is flush with a variety of clays, which on Earth, form in the presence of water.”

    (via discoverynews)

     

  9. discoverynews:

    BREAKING: NASA Plans ‘Curiosity Twin’ Rover Mission in 2020: The new rover will be a virtual duplicate of Curiosity, a car-sized, nuclear-powered rover that landed on Mars on Aug. 6 to look for habitats that could have supported — or perhaps still supports — microbial life. Using spare equipment and the same designs should allow NASA to shave about $1 billion off the cost of the two-year, $2.5 billion Curiosity mission.

    (Billions or Martian microbes just screamed out in chorus: “crap.”)

     

  10. This image was taken by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 75 (2012-10-22 06:07:04 UTC) . 

    Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

     

  11. discoverynews:

    This is what happens to naughty Mars rocks. *pew pew pew*

    The rover’s Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, blasted a flat, fist-sized rock with a high-powered laser 30 times in 10 seconds, creating plasma sparks that were analyzed by three light-splitting spectrometers to determine their chemical contents.

    The Mars invasion has begun…

     

  12. discoverynews:

    Curiosity lifted up her head

    MSL Curiosity is starting to look around and will calibrate her camera using the pixelated sticker mounted on her frame (in photo #3)

    She may have seen her own shadow, but as Mars is near the end of summer at the moment, so it won’t be having six more weeks of winter. #joke

    read more Mars coverage…

     

  13. discoverynews:

    After Mars Rover Lands, NASA May Have Anxious Wait

    NASA cheekily refers to the Mars Science Laboratory’s complicated landing scenario, a scheme that relies on a flyable platform, supersonic parachutes and an aerial crane, as “the seven minutes of terror.”

    Now, thanks to a glitch that repositioned MSL’s primary communications satellite, those seven minutes of terror may be followed by a couple of hours of nail-biting uncertainty over whether the rover arrived safely or not.

    keep reading

     

  14. n-a-s-a:

    Looking Back Across Mars

    Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JPL, NASA 

     

  15. discoverynews:

    Mars Rover Opportunity’s Beautiful Winter Hangout

    Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has just celebrated its 3,000th sol* on Mars. This may sound like an important milestone, and it is. This tenacious six-wheeled robot has survived five Martian winters since it landed on the Red Planet in on Jan. 24th, 2004 — considering its warranty was only 90 days, we’re certainly getting our money’s worth!

    In this spectacular 360 degree panorama, Opportunity photographed the vista surrounding her most recent winter hangout: “Greeley Haven.”

    keep reading