MSL Curiosity

May 1, 2017

Curiosity, recovering from the Bagnold dunes campaign

A Piece of Mars: You’ll probably want to click on this image to see the whole thing, it’s pretty big, and it’s worth seeing. This 850×550 m (0.53×0.34 mi) scene shows the barchanoid dunes of the Bagnold dune field, imperceptibly […]
December 21, 2015

Curiosity about sand dunes (part 2/2)

Today is December 21, 2015 (northern winter and southern summer solstice on Earth). On Mars it is Ls = 84º, Mars Year 33 (about 12 sols from northern summer and southern winter solstice on Mars). It is sol 1200 of […]
December 14, 2015

Curiosity about sand dunes (part 1/2)

Sorry for the pun in the title there, but NASA asked for it by naming their rover like that. And you’ve seen it done a hundred times, so let’s grit our teeth, smile, and carry on. Anyway. So I’m more […]
July 1, 2014

Where is Curiosity on her 1 Mars year anniversary?

A piece of Mars: Curiosity has been trolling around on Mars for one martian year, so I think it’s time I posted an update on where it is and what it’s seeing. Right now (late June 2014), the rover is […]
January 24, 2014

Little dunes that Curiosity saw last October

A piece of Mars: On Oct. 15, 2013, Curiosity drove past a crater that has small dunes or ripples on its floor. In a new HiRISE image, you can see Curiosity’s tracks from that day (its 424th sol on Mars). […]
September 25, 2012

Winds in Gale crater, ancient and young

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Cream-colored ripples wind their way through rough terrain. Looking more closely, the rocky surface seems to be made of highly eroded parallel ridges that are nearly perpendicular to most of the ripples. These ridges […]
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 […]