September 19, 2012

Squooshed craters

A piece of Mars: Impact craters are typically round circles, so when you see one that isn’t, it’s usually because something has changed its shape into something less perfectly round. These craters are squooshed on the lower right side, as […]
September 9, 2012

Valley in Mt. Sharp

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Here’s a view of a small piece of Mt. Sharp, both from Curiosity (on the right) and from orbit (on the left, HiRISE ESP_028269_1755). A broad valley visible from the rover is revealed to […]
September 3, 2012

Distances to Mt. Sharp

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Last week NASA released an image from Curiosity showing various distances on the path to Mt. Sharp. I decided to go and see if I could find where they are in spacecraft images. On […]
August 28, 2012

Feathered terrain up on Mt. Sharp, where Curiosity may one day go

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Here is a tiny piece of feathery terrain way up high on Mt. Sharp, the mountain that Curiosity will one day climb. This is a special unit of fine-grained material that has weathered into […]
August 24, 2012

The dunes near Curiosity

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Here are some of the large, dark dunes not far from where Curiosity has landed. They’re pretty big monsters, 200-300 meters across. Their shape indicates they’ve been formed from two different wind directions: one […]
August 19, 2012

What is Mt. Sharp?

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: What exactly is Mt. Sharp, the big mountain Curiosity is set to climb up? Here’s a picture of what it is: layers and layers and layers and layers. And more layers. Probably sedimentary, but […]
August 13, 2012

Curiosity’s Grand Canyon

A piece of Gale crater, Mars (Aug. 13, 2012): Here is the wall of a large ravine cut into Mt. Sharp, the mountain of layered and eroded sediments that Curiosity will climb. Long ago, this ravine was cut by water, […]
August 11, 2012

In Curiosity’s channel

A piece of Gale crater, Mars (Aug 11, 2012): This is a tiny portion of the ancient river channel that Curiosity will use to climb up Mt. Sharp in the coming year. It’s a fascinating place, full of pale fractured […]
August 10, 2012

And the wind blew

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: These are rocks on Mount Sharp, where the Curiosity rover will be headed in the coming months. Like many of the surfaces in Gale crater, these have been streamlined by sandblasting over the eons. […]