Astrogeology Science Center

Name Approved for Feature on Mars: Olympus Maculae

29 November 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved the name Olympus Maculae for a group of dark spots on Mars. For more information, see Mars map MC-8 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

This Software Rocks for Processing Planetary Data

22 November 2017

The Integrated System for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS) is one of the most reliable specialty software packages designed for cartographic and scientific processing of images acquired from NASA and other science missions. This software rocks and it’s free. Although many planetary… Read More

Sols 1868-1869: Hello gorgeous

6 November 2017

It was a good weekend on Mars.  Curiosity spent the weekend exploring a beautiful outcrop of sedimentary rocks (shown in the above image) as part of our continued investigation of the middle and upper parts of Vera Rubin Ridge.  Images like these will help us figure out the environment in… Read More

Names Approved for Six Cavi and a Tholus on Mars

7 November 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for seven features on Mars: Dalu Cavus, Layl Cavus, Malam Cavus, Nat Cavus, Noc Cavus, Usiku Cavus, and Noctis Tholus. For more information, see Mars map MC-17 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Dawn Spacecraft Contribution and Fate

30 October 2017

Halloween day prompts a chilling question: If you were a spacecraft, which fate would you prefer? Would you choose to remain in a stable orbit forever around Ceres or would you prefer to crash into Saturn and burn? The Cassini spacecraft crashed into Saturn and was engulfed in flames in… Read More

Name Approved for Crater on Mars: Kotido

24 October 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Kotido for a crater on Mars. For more information, see Mars map MC-11 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sols 1852-1853: Feeding SAM some sand

20 October 2017

MSL drove over 20 meters on Sol 1850, to an area with lots of bedrock exposed.  We had several nice targets to choose from, but were limited in what we could plan because we want to prepare for a SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA) of sand from "Ogunquit Beach," which requires significant… Read More

Sols 1848-1849: How far we’ve come

16 October 2017

Today felt like any other planning day: a straightforward plan involving remote sensing, a drive, post-drive imaging, and some untargeted observations on the second sol.  Just a typical day in the office.  Maybe even an easy one.  It wasn’t until I sat down to write this blog… Read More

Seven New Names Approved for Paterae on Mars

16 October 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for seven features on Mars: Olympus Paterae, Apollo Patera, Athena Patera, Dionysus Patera, Hermes Patera, Hera Patera, and Zeus Patera. For more information, see the map of MC-9 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Naming Method Approved for Use on Mars

16 October 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved a new naming method for groups of smaller features within a larger named feature. In such cases the normal naming convention shall be suspended and instead their names shall be chosen so that they bear a mnemonic relationship to the… Read More