Mercury Is Spotted For The First Time – From Mars!

NASA’s Curiosity rover may be busy exploring the rugged and rocky interior of Gale Crater but it does get a chance to skygaze on occasion. And while looking at the Sun on June 3, 2014 (mission Sol 649) the rover’s Mastcam spotted another member of our Solar System: tiny Mercury, flitting across the Sun’s face. Silhouetted against…

A Martian Panorama

It may look like a scene from the US southwest but it’s actually somewhere much, much farther away… 206.3 million miles away, to be exact — it’s a view from the Curiosity rover looking toward the center of Gale Crater, where the informally-named Mount Sharp rises up 3.4 miles from the crater floor.

Curiosity’s Message to Mars

While Curiosity is definitely loaded up with some of the most high-tech instruments ever made to investigate the surface of Mars, it also carries one very low-tech instrument: a sundial, which can be used to determine the position of the Sun in the sky and the season on Mars — just like they do here…