Astrogeology Science Center

Long Live the Queen MER Opportunity!

25 January 2018

Today, January 25, 2018, marks the 14th anniversary of Opportunity’s arrival on Mars, having traveled 283 million miles from Earth. In 2004, scientists landed the robot geologist in Meridiani Planum, an area suspected to have once inhabited water. Opportunity is now a senior-citizen, in… Read More

Sols 1940-1942: Studying a bedrock transition

19 January 2018

The Sol 1939 drive went well, placing MSL next to the bright/dark transition seen at the right side of this image.  In order to better understand the textural and chemical changes across this transition, the tactical team planned ChemCam and Right Mastcam observations of targets "Mallaig"… Read More

Sols 1938-1939: It’s all about the details

17 January 2018

Today’s two-sol plan will wrap up activities at Vera Rubin Ridge location “e.”  When we assessed the downlink data this morning, we were excited to see that ChemCam did a great job with some very precise pointing in the previous plan.  At location “e” we have… Read More

New Press Release: Massive Ice Sheets Identified on Mars!

10 January 2018

USGS Scientist Colin Dundas’ research is mentioned in yet another national USGS press release. Three months ago he startled the scientific world with evidence that seasonal dark streaks on warm Martian slopes, called recurring slope lineae (RSL), are something other than salty water. Now Dr.… Read More

Six New Sinus Names Approved for Titan

11 January 2018

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for six features on Titan: Genova Sinus, Dingle Sinus, Baffin Sinus, Manza Sinus, Boni Sinus, and Maizuru Sinus. For more information, see the map of Titan's North Polar Lakes and Seas in the Gazetteer of Planetary… Read More

Sizzling New Evidence on Martian Streaks

20 December 2017

In this exciting press release, USGS scientist, Colin Dundas, provides evidence that seasonal dark streaks on warm Martian slopes, called recurring slope lineae (RSL), are something other than salty water, as scientists originally thought and hoped for. Colin is also the lead author in the Nature… Read More

Sols 1909-1910: Driving “home” for the holidays

18 December 2017

Today’s planning session kicked off with an important decision about where to drive and how that will set us up for exciting science over the holidays.  After much discussion, the team decided to return to some familiar yet intriguing rocks that we explored last week, visible in the… Read More

Sol 1904-1905: Curiosity's Arm Workout

15 December 2017

I was on downlink for ChemCam on Wednesday, so I was busy analyzing the latest data while the uplink team decided what to do for sols 1904 and 1905. We had some nice data, including a gorgeous image of a finely-layered rock named "Trotternish" (shown above).The sol 1904 plan started with some… Read More

Wonder No More: Back to the Moon We Go!

12 December 2017

Inquiring minds have wanted to know if astronauts will ever go back to the Moon, and if so, when? Neil Armstrong’s words “The eagle has landed" were uttered 45 years ago. Astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt took the most recent American steps on the Moon, in 1972. Twelve astronauts… Read More