Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1795: Skirting around Vera Rubin Ridge

23 August 2017

Curiosity is now tantalizingly close to climbing up Vera Rubin Ridge.  For the past several weeks we have been skirting around the ridge, documenting sedimentary structures and bedrock composition along the way as we work toward our intended ascent route.  Today’s plan provided… Read More

Upcoming Full Solar Eclipse in the U.S.

18 August 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017, is drawing near when you can see the Moon completely cover the blazing sun, casting a shadow on Earth’s surface in a Total Solar Eclipse! This rare and spectacular view can be seen across the entire continent, although most people in the U.S., if not in the path of… Read More

Sol 1786: ChemCam anomaly

14 August 2017

MSL drove over 32 meters last weekend, to a sandy area with a few bedrock blocks, but ChemCam suffered an anomaly and was marked sick after the acquisition of the first RMI mosaic of Vera Rubin Ridge.  The instrument is in a safe state and turned off, but no other ChemCam observations were… Read More

Watching a Sleeping Giant

14 August 2017

Sleeping giants, like the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park, can reawaken even after many thousands of years have passed since their last eruption. Cataclysmic eruptions, like the one 630,000 years ago, could severely damage human infrastructure across half a continent and… Read More

Sol 1777: Easing back into mission planning

4 August 2017

As the solar conjunction stand-down comes to an end, we are easing back into operations planning, focusing on Sol 1780, which will be planned in detail on Monday.  There was no SOWG meeting today, so it was a very easy day for me as SOWG Chair:  We discussed plans for next week and… Read More

Astrogeology Services No One Told You About

4 August 2017

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center (often called Astro) performs research as well as maintains and provides technical expertise in the planetary sciences. One of their legacies is that Astro was involved with the Apollo astronauts' training in preparation to go to the Moon and they have their… Read More

Meteor Impact: Preserving the Evidence

28 July 2017

Can you imagine a blazing meteor nearly 160 feet in diameter and weighing 100,000 tons, traveling at a speed of 45,000 mph, crashing into the ground in front of you? It’s not something most people would enjoy imagining! But on those rare occasions, once every few million years, this can… Read More

Microbes on Mars: Wanted Dead or Alive

21 July 2017

Scientists want to find microbes on Mars whether they are dead or alive! The discovery of microbes is evidence that Mars harbors life or did so in the past. Using an avalanche of scientific data acquired from the red planet, scientists have theorized and provided compelling evidence that life may… Read More

Erosion Strikes Again!

14 July 2017

If you have seen the photo below, then you have witnessed Mars’ famous upside down stream channels. How were these once flowing stream channels now flipped upside down you ask? Erosion is to blame! The infamous and sometime elusive erosion is not only found to be a troublemaker on Earth, but… Read More

Amusing Sand Match on Mars and Earth

7 July 2017

Tim Titus, Space Scientist, and others are conducting research at an analog site at Grand Falls, in Flagstaff, where the sand there resembles the sand on Mars! What an exciting discovery!  Not only can scientists use their instruments, make observations, and experiment as they would in the… Read More