See that tiny spot at image center? That is NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, as seen by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) was obtained on 13 December 2014, the 835th Mars day, or sol, of the rover’s mission.

At the time, Curiosity was at the Pahrump Hills area of the Gale Crater. The rover was near a feature known as Whale Rock in an outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp. This area contains sedimentary rocks that scientists believe formed in the presence of water.

While this may look like some vast expanse of the Martian surface, you have to keep in mind that Curiosity is only about 3 meters (10 ft) long. The view here covers only about 330 meters (360 yards) across. If you would to see a map of how Curiosity got here, you can look at this HiRise image that has been annotated with the last 150 sols worth of travel:http://1.usa.gov/1zB1wdr


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


Broken arm: Mars rover Curiosity gets stopped for repairs

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has stopped for maintenance after a short circuit disabled one of its arms. Testing and maintenance will take a few days.

The Red Planet-exploring, epic-selfie-taking robot will sit idle for some time as technicians back on Earth find out where and how serious the problem is, says a status report on NASA’s Mars Exploration website.

The malfunction was caused by a short circuit, which happened as Curiosity was transferring rock powder samples from the drill on the end of its arm to laboratory equipment inside its body.

A picture of the drill was posted on Curiosity’s twitter page.


hellas planitia, mars, photographed by mars express, 19th january 2014.

32°s 58°e to 43°s 60°e; about 660 km across the northern hellas planitia. the bottom of the image shows the alpheus colles.

composite of 1 monochrome image and 3 images in visible light for colour.

image credit: esa. composite: ageofdestruction.


Don’t Miss Tonight: Venus, Uranus & Mars + The Closest Planetary Conjunction of 2015
Tonight, after sunset, ‪#‎Venus‬ and ‪#‎Mars‬ are within 7 degrees of each other and so visible together in a pair of low power binoculars. Also tonight, Venus and ‪#‎Uranus‬ come within 6 arc minutes of each other making a great sight in a small telescope. The light from Venus, at magnitude -4, is 10,000 times brighter than Uranus at magnitude +5.9 so its glare may make it hard to spot Uranus: moving Venus out of the field of view of a high power eyepiece may help. This is the closest planetary conjunction in 2015.