A Frightful Eclipse Seen From Mars

Yes, Mars gets eclipses too! This brief animation, made from ten raw subframe images acquired with Curiosity’s Mastcam show the silhouette of Mars’ moon Phobos (named after the Greek god of fear) as it slipped in front of the Sun’s limb on September 13 — aka the 37th “Sol” of the mission. The animation spans…

Curiosity’s Camera Reveals “Southwestern” Landscape on Mars

Wow — what a view! This is a high-resolution shot of the Curiosity rover’s ultimate goal: the stratified flanks of Gale Crater’s 3.4-mile (5.5-km) high central peak, Mount Sharp. The image was taken with Curiosity’s 34mm Mastcam as a calibration test… if views like this are what we can expect from the MSL mission, all I can…

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…

A Lomographic Look at Mount Sharp

Looking like an old photograph of a Western U.S. landscape, this is a view from Curiosity’s acquired on August 18 (UTC) with the rover’s right Navcam. I colored the image using some of Curiosity’s previous color shots for reference, and adjusted the curves quite a bit from the original to bring out some contrast. The…

An MSL Panorama from Gale Crater

Here’s a panoramic view of the mountainous rim of Gale Crater, as seen by Curiosity’s left Mastcam on 8/9/2012. The image is assembled from 5 raw subsampled images. Gale Crater is about 96 miles (154 km) wide and estimated to be around 3.8 billion years old. Want to see more of this view? Click here,…

Flying Saucers Over Mars!

It might not be a UFO per se but it’s definitely a flying disk from another planet — except in this case the other planet is Earth! This image, a high-resolution version of one sent back by Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager on the morning of August 6, shows MSL’s  heat shield falling away, allowing the…

Heads Up, Curiosity!

This just in: the latest full-size image from Curiosity shows the rover’s shadow with its “head” extended…. hello, Curiosity! 🙂 The image above was taken with the rover’s left navcam, and also shows its branded plate and cool little Atari-esque “logo”. Awesome! You can see more raw images from Curiosity on the JPL site here….

Landing on Mars – From a Rover’s Point of View

Ride along with Curiosity as it descends to the surface of Mars in this 4 fps video taken by the rover’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) camera! These images are low-resolution, the full-res versions will be available at a later date. But still the view during the rover’s harrowing descent, showing the heat shield falling away…

Curiosity Lands on Mars and Returns First Images

The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity successfully landed on Mars on August 5 (PDT), to the thrill of millions around the world who watched in tense amazement as the harrowing landing sequence played out step-by-step exactly as designed, showing that we can safely place a 2-ton nuclear-powered vehicle on the surface of another planet and…

How Curiosity Will Meet Mars

At 10:31 p.m. PDT tonight, August 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6), after nearly 9 months of travel, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (and a rover named Curiosity) will arrive at the Red Planet to explore the interior of Gale Crater and hunt for the ingredients of life. Of course, between arriving and hunting, there has…

Curiosity’s “Crazy” Landing

“When people look at it, it looks crazy. It’s a very natural thing. Sometimes when we look at it it looks crazy. It is the result of reason, engineering, thought… but it still looks crazy.” – Adam Steltzner, EDL Engineer On August 5, after nearly 9 months of travel, Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) will…

Curiosity Launches!

Can’t see the video below? Click here. This morning at 10:02 a.m. EST, the Atlas V rocket with Mars Science Laboratory (a.k.a. Curiosity) encapsulated in its payload successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. It was a beautiful launch and the HD video is above… enjoy! MSL successfully separated from the rocket phase 44…