16 November 2018
It’s the windy season on Mars, and Curiosity’s activities this weekend include taking oodles of images at different times throughout the day to catch how the wind moves sand and dust around. We’ll be taking 15 separate Mastcam images of both the ‘Sand Loch’ and ‘Windyedge’ areas throughout the weekend, as well as several MARDI images to monitor changes on the ground underneath the vehicle. A similar campaign we did back at the Bagnold Dunes helped refine models of regional-scale wind patterns at Gale and provided important insights into the physics of how sand moves under the modern day Martian atmosphere.
This weekend we will also perform a second night of CheMin analysis on the Highfield drill sample and fill a couple mornings with Mastcam and Navcam observations to monitor the atmosphere. We have a longer remote sensing science block on sol 2233 that includes ChemCam and Mastcam observations of targets ‘Dun Carloway,’ ‘St. Abbs Head,’ and ‘Echt.’ A second long remote sensing science block on sol 2235 will contain ChemCam and Mastcam observations of ‘Blair Atholl’ and ‘Rhinns of Islay,’ as well as a Mastcam multispectral observation of Echt.
Written by Abigail Fraeman, Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory