Video Caption: This JPL video shows the complicated choreography to get drill samples to Curiosity’s instruments as she prepares for 2nd drilling at “Cumberland.” See where “Cumberland” is located in our panoramic photo mosaic below.
It’s time at last for “Drill, Baby, Drill!” – Martian Style.
Well, check out this enlightening and cool new NASA video for an exquisitely detailed demonstration of just how Curiosity shakes, rattles and rolls on the Red Planet and swallows that mysterious Martian powder. [click to continue…]
Opportunity pops a ‘wheelie’ on Mars on May 15, 2013 (Sol 3308) and then made history by driving further to the mountain ahead on the next day, May 16 (Sol 3309), to establish a new American distance driving record for a vehicle on another world. This navcam mosaic shows the view forward to Opportunity’s future destinations of Solander Point and Cape Tribulation along the lengthy rim of huge Endeavour crater spanning 14 miles (22 km) in diameter. See below our complete map of the 9 Year Journey of Opportunity on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Ken Kremer (kenkremer.com)/Marco Di Lorenzo
Now more than 9 years and counting into her planned mere 90 day mission to Mars, NASA’s legendary Opportunity rover has smashed past another space milestone and established a new distance driving record for an American vehicle on another world this week.
On Thursday, May 16, the long-lived Opportunity drove another 263 feet (80 meters) on Mars – bringing her total odometry since landing on 24 January 2004 to 22.220 miles (35.760 kilometers) – and broke through the 40 year old driving record set back in December 1972 by Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.
Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) as seen in the early morning Arizona skies on May 16, 2013. Credit and copyright: Chris Schur.
The comet show is still not over! Early on May 16, 2013, astrophotographer Chris Schur from central Arizona was able to see two comets at once, Comet PANSTARRS AND Comet Lemmon. “We set up on our 14 foot tall balcony observing pad and was able to get the very low Comet Lemmon as it rose in the eastern sky,” Chris told Universe Today via email. “While PANSTARRS was up high by 2:30am, we had to wait until 3:30 before we could try Lemmon.”
While neither comet was visible to the naked eye, Chris reported that both were seen quite clearly in the 11×80 binoculars. “It was fun to go back and forth rapidly between the two objects to compare,” he said. “While PANSTARRS is now a very low surface brightness wedge shaped object, Lemmon was just a huge ball of light, about two magnitudes brighter.” [click to continue…]
Have you seen Star Trek: Into Darkness yet? If so, did you see the NASA-themed trailer, too? A crowd-funded 30-second video called “We Are the Explorers” is debuting at theaters this week, shown before the new Trek film begins. It highlights America’s future in space and is narrated by actor Peter Cullen, the voice of head Transformer Optimus Prime. [click to continue…]
A bright flash on the Moon on March 17, 2013 when a boulder-sized asteroid hit the lunar surface.
If you were looking up at the Moon on March 17, 2013 at 03:50:55 UTC, you might have seen one of the brightest “lunar flashes” ever witnessed. And it would have been visible with just the naked eye. [click to continue…]