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Mars Rover Curiosity’s Cameras Captured Selfies, Broken Sidewalk, Small Ball, Pyramid, Bird Sculpture & Laser Shots

Mon October 6, 2014

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft (launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Nov. 26, 2011) set down on Mars a large, mobile laboratory — the rover Curiosity — at Gale Crater on the floor of Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012 Universal Time (evening of Aug. 5, Pacific Time).

  • The rover studies the geology and environment of selected areas in the crater and analyzes samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground.
  • Within the first eight months of a planned 23-month primary mission, Curiosity met its major objective of finding evidence of a past environment well suited to supporting microbial life.
    • Images from the rover showed an area where “water once coursed vigorously over the surface.”
    • The evidence for stream flow was in rounded pebbles (spheres up to a few centimeters) mixed with hardened sand in conglomerate rocks at and near the landing site.
    • This indicates sustained abrasion of rock fragments within water flows that crossed Gale Crater.
  • The touchdown site, Bradbury Landing, is near the foot of a layered mountain, Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons).
  • Please note: a Martian day for rover Curiosity is one Sol (in the satellite of our sun).

Curiosity’s 17 cameras consist of both engineering and science cameras.

There are four types of engineering cameras.

Like the Mars Exploration Rovers, Curiosity has a stereo Navigation Camera on its mast and low-slung, stereo Hazard-Avoidance cameras. The wide view of the Navigation Camera is also used to aid targeting of other instruments and to survey the sky for clouds and dust.

  • Front Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Front Hazcams)
Front Hazcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Front Hazcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left B (FHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 762 (2014-09-28 03:17:13 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left B (FHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 762 (2014-09-28 03:17:13 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

  • Rear Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Rear Hazcams)
Rear Hazcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Rear Hazcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

This image was taken by Rear Hazcam: Left B (RHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 758 (2014-09-23 20:53:00 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

This image was taken by Rear Hazcam: Left B (RHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 758 (2014-09-23 20:53:00 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

  • Left Navigation Camera (Navcams)
Left Navcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Left Navcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

The drive by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity during the mission's 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. The pyramid-shaped rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of the drive. The rock has been named "Jake Matijevic." Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

The drive by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity during the mission’s 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. The pyramid-shaped rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of the drive. The rock has been named “Jake Matijevic.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

  • Right Navigation Cameras (Navcams)
right navcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Right Navcams. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

MSL payload on Curisoity. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

MSL payload on Curisoity. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

There are four types of science cameras.

Mars Descent Imager (MARDI)

MARDI. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

MARDI. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.


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Press Releases

25th Anniversary of Voyager 2 Flyby of Triton Commemorated With Movie

Wed August 27, 2014

Triton, Neptune’s largest moon, received a visit from Voyager 2 back on August 25, 1989. Voyager 2 passed within 40,000 kilometers of Triton and took lots of images. Now, for the first time, and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this dramatic encounter, the images have been gathered into a movie. The resolution is 600 meters per pixel and is in orange, green and blue (showing Triton in approximately natural colors).

It’s a really fast flyby and the video starts with Voyager 2 about 3 days out from Triton, travelling at a speed of approx. 25 kilometers per second, passing over the unlit north pole, pivoting to see the departing moon (now visible as a diminishing crescent) and then ending about a week on the outbound trajectory. Triton is 2706 kilometers across.

The new Triton map has a resolution of 1,970 feet (600 meters) per pixel. The colors have been enhanced to bring out contrast but are a close approximation to Triton’s natural colors. Voyager’s “eyes” saw in colors slightly different from human eyes, and this map was produced using orange, green and blue filter images.

Image Credit: Voyager 2, JPL, NASA; Digital composition: Paul Schenk (LPI, USRA)

via nasa

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Deals

Sponsored Video: Big Data Cloud Computing Helps NASA Rover Curiosity Land on Mars

Tue July 8, 2014

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Launching a rover to Mars requires astronomical computing power. NASA JPL relies on Big Data Cloud Computing from Amazon Web Services built on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 family.

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Articles

Watch Live NASA’s LDSD ‘Flying Saucer’ Test June 2014 Via Onboard Cameras

Tue June 3, 2014

This video presents “LDSD: We Brake for Mars (Part 1).”

  • NASA and JPL are testing a supersonic parachute under Mars-like conditions for future exploration.

Rocket-powered Test Vehicle of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project (LDSD). This artist's concept shows the test vehicle for NASA's LDSD, designed to test landing technologies for future Mars missions. A balloon will lift the vehicle to high altitudes, where a rocket will take it even higher, to the top of the stratosphere, at several times the speed of sound. The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project is managed by JPL for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Rocket-powered Test Vehicle of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project (LDSD). This artist’s concept shows the test vehicle for NASA’s LDSD, designed to test landing technologies for future Mars missions. A balloon will lift the vehicle to high altitudes, where a rocket will take it even higher, to the top of the stratosphere, at several times the speed of sound. The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project is managed by JPL for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project is a rocket-powered, flying saucer-shaped test vehicle for NASA’s Evolvable Mars campaign.

NASA’s LDSD project’s goals, led by JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), are as follows.

The two supersonic decelerator technologies to be tested are:


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Apps, Articles

Celebrate Earth Day 2014: NASA’s #GlobalSelfie Event + Celebratory Events in Canada

Tue April 22, 2014

This video presents “Earth Day 2014 Promo.”

  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery on Earth as NASA takes part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day.
  • Today, April 22, is #EarthDay. Are you ready for your #GlobalSelfie?
  • Join NASA and the world celebrate environmental awareness with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.

NASA: #Global Selfie Sign for Earth Day 2014

NASA: #GlobalSelfie Sign for Earth Day 2014

NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.

Earth Right Now Campaign

  • The year 2014 is a big one for NASA Earth science.
  • Five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about our home planet are launching this year to expand our understanding of Earth’s changing climate and environment.
  • NASA is marking this big year for Earth science with a campaign called Earth Right Now, and as part of this campaign the agency is asking for your help this Earth Day, April 22.

“NASA astronauts brought home the first ever images of the whole planet from space. Now NASA satellites capture new images of Earth every second. For Earth Day we are trying to create an image of Earth from the ground up while also fostering a collection of portraits of the people of Earth. Once those pictures stream around the world on Earth Day, the individual pictures tagged #GlobalSelfie will be used to create a mosaic image of Earth — a new “Blue Marble” built bit by bit with your photos.”

  • On Earth Day, NASA is asking you to step outside and take a picture of yourself wherever you are on Earth. Then post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.
NASA's "Earth Now" App

NASA’s “Earth Now” App

  • NASA’s FREE “Earth Now” Apple and Android app “immerses users in dazzling visualizations of near-real-time global climate data from NASA’s fleet of Earth science satellites.”

Today, April 22, is Earth Day. “What are you doing to show your love for the planet?”

A Nature Conservancy of Canada's Earth Day tribute e-card.

A Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Earth Day tribute e-card.

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has the following three great ways you can take time for nature and spread some nature love:


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Featured Site

NASA on Flickr – Real ‘Gravity’ Space Photos

Sat March 15, 2014

The Gravity movie has generated lots of interest on space missions. However, as Hollywood would have it, it is over-dramatized and no astronauts could survive accidents of the sort depicted in the movie.

Not to be outdone by — and taking advantage of — the interest and popularity of the movie, NASA has posted “Real-Life Images from Space” on Flickr for our enjoyment.

Visit our Featured Site: ‘Gravity’ – NASA’s Real-Life Images from Space.

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Sponsored Post

Sponsored Video: NASA JPL and AWS with Intel

Fri December 13, 2013

NASA JPL compresses a day into an hour using AWS with Intel.

The Power of 60

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST


Articles, Videos

NASA Asks What are the “Mysterious Green Patches on the Sky”: Airglow Phenomenon Photography?

Tue October 1, 2013

This video presents “Hopewell Rocks perseid meteor shower time lapse.”

  • Kevin Snair filmed perseid meteor shower time lapse at enchanting Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, Canada from before twilight August 11 to shortly after 3:00 am August 12.
  • The green ‘clouds’  are visible in this silent video at 25 sec. to 28 sec. interval.

NASA astronomers are asking viewers what are the “Mysterious Green Patches on the Sky,” as they ponder the significance of these green images.

Snair explained that the green ‘clouds’ result from airglow phenomenon which is very weak emission of light by Earth’s atmosphere so that the night sky is never completely dark.

Another airglow phenomenon was captured on 15 September 2011 in the following photograph featuring

Photo: International Space Station Imagery (ISS028-E-050185; 15 Sept. 2011).

Photo: International Space Station Imagery (ISS028-E-050185; 15 Sept. 2011).

NASA also included the following possible explanations for the mysterious green patches:


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Sponsored Post

Sponsored Video: NASA JPL and AWS with Intel

Tue July 16, 2013

NASA JPL compresses a day into an hour using AWS with Intel.

NASA JPL engineers speed up Curiosity mission data analysis to leave more time for science and discovery by putting Amazon Web Services with Intel to work.

Read more about The Power of 60.

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST.


Videos

Earth From Orbit

Sat April 27, 2013

NASA looks “back at the best views of our planet Earth from space in the last year, including true color satellite images, Earth science data visualizations, time lapses from the International Space Station, and computer models.


Videos

Our Beautiful Sun

Thu April 25, 2013

As Summer approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, we can look forward to enjoying more of the sun’s warmth and light. It is this light that allows to record pictures. This video from NASA distils 3 year’s of sun watching by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) into 3 minutes, at a pace of two images per day.

Notable events:

00:30 Partial eclipse by the moon

00:31 Roll maneuver

01:11 August 9, 2011 X6.9 Flare, currently the largest of this solar cycle

01:28 Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011

01:42 Roll Maneuver

01:51 Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012

02:28 Partial eclipse by the moon

via thestar


Videos

The Hubble Space Telescope Turns 23 and Takes New Stunning Horsehead Nebula Photo

Sun April 21, 2013

The Hubble Space Telescope, launched on April 24, 1990, has returned many stunning images of the cosmos. To celebrate its 23rd year, NASA used it to take a new — and stunning — infrared photo of the iconic Horsehead Nebula. The infrared photo was taken by the telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 installed by spacewalking astronauts in 2009. The Hubble is expected to continue operating through April 2016. Its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is optimized to view in infrared light and is slated to blast off in 2018.

via cbsnews


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