Happy 1-Year Anniversary to Curiosity! (Play It Again, SAM!)

Today marks the one (Earth) year anniversary of Curiosity’s landing on Mars, which occurred on at 10:31 p.m PDT August 5 (1:31 p.m. EDT August 6) 2012… hard to believe it’s been a whole year already! But then, with all that the MSL mission has discovered over these past 12 months, it’s also hard to believe…

Want to see a BILLION-pixel view of Mars from Curiosity?

Well, here you go. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’. 😉 Actually this is a NASA-produced image made of 850 frames taken by Curiosity’s MastCam, showing the view from the rover as of late October/early November 2012. Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) rises in the distance, and the mountainous rim of Gale Crater can be…

Road Trip! Curiosity Prepares for Some Long-Distance Driving

It’s time for Curiosity to get into high gear! NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is approaching its biggest turning point since landing its rover, Curiosity, inside Mars’ Gale Crater last summer. Curiosity is finishing investigations in an area smaller than a football field where it has been working for six months, and it will soon…

A Clear Blue Sky on Mars

There’s nothing like a beautiful sunny day in Gale crater! The rusty sand crunching beneath your wheels, a gentle breeze blowing at a balmy 6º C (43º F), Mount Sharp rising in the distance into a clear blue sky… wait, did I just say blue sky? Yes I did. But no worries — Mars hasn’t…

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 Has So Many Cool Things to Find

Water, methane, organic compounds, Twinkies, Amelia Earhart’s plane… there’s just so many cool things for Curiosity to find on Mars! This little production by Seattle-based Cinesaurus may be a parody of “Dumb Ways to Die” but there’s certainly nothing dumb about the exciting things that Curiosity’s already found in its brief time in Gale Crater……

What Has Curiosity Found on Mars?

……E.T., maybe?? 😉 Kidding aside, the internet science world is abuzz with the anticipation of some big news from the Mars Science Laboratory team, spurring many on Twitter to make up their own amusing suggestions.  (Martian Twinkies??) What that news could be — organic compounds? water ice? methane outgassings? — is still anyone’s guess. But since…

New MSL pic of “shiny thing” shows it’s totally a piece of plastic

Remember that curious object spotted on Mars a few days ago by Curiosity? After JPL researchers determined it was likely a piece of plastic wrap from a cable that shook loose during the landing sequence, the rover took this shot with its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument on 10/12. I’m no scientist, but yeah……

Curiosity Spots an Unidentified Object on Mars

While scooping its first samples of Martian soil NASA’s Curiosity rover captured the image above, which shows what seems to be a small, seemingly metallic sliver or chip of… something… resting on the ground. Is it a piece of the rover? Or some other discarded fleck of the MSL descent mechanisms? Or perhaps an exotic Martian pebble of…

Curiosity Leaves its “Bootprint”

In an image reminiscent of the historical photo of Buzz Aldrin’s boot print in the lunar soil, Curiosity leaves a wheel scuff in a wind-formed ripple at a site called “Rocknest”. The rover’s right Navigation camera took this image of the scuff mark on the mission’s 57th Martian day, or sol (Oct. 3, 2012). For…

A Daytime Moon on Mars

A raw image taken on September 21 by Curiosity’s right Mastcam shows a daytime view of the Martian sky with a crescent-lit Phobos in the frame… barely visible, yes, but most certainly there. Very cool! The image above is a crop of the original, contrast-enhanced and sharpened to bring out as much detail as possible….

Curiosity’s Roving Along an Ancient Riverbed!

Not even two months after landing on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover has already found good evidence that water once flowed within Gale Crater! And not just as a random occurrence either, but an honest-to-goodness stream… long-lived and possibly hip-deep, according to both rocks and researchers.