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8 April 2015

Sol 950: Taking in the Scenery along Artist’s Drive

Sol 950: Taking in the Scenery along Artist’s Drive

  By Lauren Edgar Like most tourists who visit Artist’s Drive on Earth, Curiosity is busy taking lots of photos to document the valley walls of Artist’s Drive on Mars.  We are officially on the road again, and working our way through a very scenic drive.  I’m the Geology Science Theme Lead today, and today’s plan involves a pre-drive science block, a drive for hopefully ~30-40m, and some post-drive imaging …

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1 April 2015

Sols 944-945: Return to Garden City

Sols 944-945:  Return to Garden City

  by Ken Herkenhoff After receiving and analyzing the most recent “Garden City” data, the MSL team decided that more data are needed to better understand this interesting outcrop.  Therefore, after acquiring some ChemCam and Mastcam observations near “Kanosh,” the rover will drive back to Garden City on Sol 944.  The goal is to position the rover for contact science activities in a part of the outcrop that was not previously within the arm’s …

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31 March 2015

Martian Chronicles is Back!

Good news everyone: this blog is coming out of retirement! For a while now, I and two other USGS scientists on the Curiosity team, Ken Herkenhoff and Lauren Edgar, have been posting brief updates on what the Curiosity rover is up to, over at the USGS Astrogeology website. Now, through the wonders of the internet (and some behind the scenes work by the USGS and AGU webmasters) those updates will …

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30 March 2015

Sols 942-943 Cap Rock “Kanosh”

Sols 942-943 Cap Rock “Kanosh”

By Lauren Edgar Over the weekend, Curiosity drove further into Artist’s Drive to investigate a rock named “Kanosh.”  This boulder appears to represent the “capping unit,” so we’re planning to study Kanosh in more detail to understand this resistant type of rock. Today’s two sol plan consists of remote sensing and contact science to investigate this boulder.  We’ll acquire ChemCam on the targets “Piru,” “Little Devil,” and “Tierra Blanca.”  We’ll …

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3 July 2013

All Good Things…

All Good Things...

… must come to an end. And unfortunately this blog is one of them. As you no doubt have noticed, the frequency of my posts has dwindled down to almost nothing and I think the time has come to stop pretending that this blog is still active and face the fact that it has run its course. And what a course it has been! This blog started back in 2008 …

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30 April 2013

Rocketplanes, Science comics, and Curiosity

Rocketplanes, Science comics, and Curiosity

First of all, in case you missed it, we live in the future. Proof? This actual photograph from Virgin Galactic’s successful supersonic rocketplane flight:

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5 April 2013

A last hurrah of flowing water on Mars

A last hurrah of flowing water on Mars

This is not so much a review of a recent paper as a review of a significant paper. “An intense terminal epoch of widespread fluvial activity on early Mars:1. Valley network incision and associated deposits” by Alan Howard, Jeff Moore, and Ross Irwin is the first of a pair of papers published in 2005 that make the case that instead of a gradual transition from warm and wet to cold …

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15 February 2013

Huge Fireball in Russia Blows Out Windows and Doors, Injures Hundreds

Huge Fireball in Russia Blows Out Windows and Doors, Injures Hundreds

Reports are coming in from all over the place that the sonic boom(s) from the meteor have shattered windows, blown out doors, and injured hundreds of people (mostly from falling glass). Here are some videos that show the fireball and some of the damage:

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7 February 2013

The Mysterious Moving Rocks of Mars

The Mysterious Moving Rocks of Mars

How did the boulders in the picture above end up in clumps and arcs instead of randomly distributed across the surface? That’s the focus of the paper “Possible Mechanism of Boulder Clustering on Mars” by Travis Orloff, Mikhail Kreslavsky, and Eric Asphaug that is currently In Press in the journal Icarus.

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24 January 2013

Where does Earth get its heat?

Where does Earth get its heat?

The other day I got a message asking about where the earth gets its heat. It brings up a number of misconceptions that I thought would be worth spending a post discussing, so here goes: Many people assume the earth to be millions if not billions of years old. Lava is molten, but the earth being only 8,000 miles in diameter has no internal heat source. It is almost like …

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