APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

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APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby APOD Robot » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:06 am

Image Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View

Explanation: What's that on the horizon? The light peak is Mt. Sharp -- an eventual destination of the Curiosity rover. The above image mosaic was taken from Bradbury Landing, the landing spot of Curiosity, and shows in the foreground the rover's extended robotic arm. Curiosity's is already on the move crossing the intermediate gravel field toward an interesting terrain feature named Glenelg. Curiosity has also already started analyzing its surroundings by zapping a nearby rock with its laser to analyze the chemical composition of the resulting gas plume. If life ever existed on Mars it might well have been here in Gale crater, with the Curiosity rover being humanity's current best chance to find what remains.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby Boomer12k » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:44 am

Nice Pic. Looks like things are going swimmingly... How DARK is the NIGHT on Mars???

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby Markus Schwarz » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:56 am

Boomer12k wrote:How DARK is the NIGHT on Mars???

The night sky on Mars should look just like that on Earth on a moonless night at a remote place (no light pollution). However, I don't know how clear the marsian sky is.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby zbvhs » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:48 am

Looks like another nice summer day. Here on Earth gravel was made by glaciers grinding rocks together. How would it have been made on Mars?
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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby neufer » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby Boomer12k » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:52 pm

It is a 3 mile high YARDANG....

Thanks, Neufer, for the picture.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby saturno2 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:53 am

Telephoto of Mount Sharp is very very interesting.
Thanks, Neufer

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby GEST » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:58 am

How about a tribute photo to Neil Armstrong?

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby bystander » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:11 am

GEST wrote:How about a tribute photo to Neil Armstrong?

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=29395
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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby GEST » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:19 am

Thanks!

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby DavidLeodis » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:16 am

In NASA News release 2012-260 dated August 27 2012 it states "Curiosity already is returning more data from the Martian surface than have all of NASA's earlier rovers combined". That surprised me greatly!

The "eventual destination" in the explanation brings up a fascinating time-lapse video showing Spirit rover's entire 4.8 miles journey over 5 years 3 months 27 days. I still have a fondness for Spirit (not dead, just having a good rest I reckon after its epic trip!) and its buddy the still ongoing Opportunity rover. :)

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby quigley » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:13 am

Someone please answer zbvhs!

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby Someone » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:53 pm

zbvhs wrote:Looks like another nice summer day. Here on Earth gravel was made by glaciers grinding rocks together. How would it have been made on Mars?

quigley wrote:Someone please answer zbvhs!

Glaciers aren't the only things that create gravel here on Earth; flowing water, freezing/thawing and volcanic activity all can make littler rocks out of big ones, too. Being in an impact crater, I suspect Curiosity is driving on gravel made primarily by the meteor that created the crater in the first place.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby neufer » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:15 pm

Someone wrote:
zbvhs wrote:
Looks like another nice summer day. Here on Earth gravel was made by glaciers grinding rocks together. How would it have been made on Mars?

Glaciers aren't the only things that create gravel here on Earth; flowing water, freezing/thawing and volcanic activity all can make littler rocks out of big ones, too. Being in an impact crater, I suspect Curiosity is driving on gravel made primarily by the meteor that created the crater in the first place.

Water in some form was probably involved, however.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravel wrote:
<<Gravel play is composed of unconsolidated rock fragments that have a general particle size range and include size classes from granule- to boulder-sized fragments. Gravel is sub-categorized by the Udden-Wentworth scale into granular gravel (>2 to 4 mm) and pebble gravel (>4 to 64 mm). Large gravel deposits are a common geological feature, being formed as a result of the weathering and erosion of rocks. The action of rivers and waves tends to pile up gravel in large accumulations. This can sometimes result in gravel becoming compacted and concreted into the sedimentary rock called conglomerate. Quarries where gravel is extracted are known as gravel pits. Southern England possesses particularly large concentrations of them due to the widespread deposition of gravel in the region during the Ice Ages.>>
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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby Astronymus » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:08 am

There is no Mt. Sharp on Mars. It's Aeolis Mons in the picture.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby owlice » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:47 am

Curiosity, the big rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, will land in August 2012 near the foot of a mountain inside Gale Crater. The mission's project science group is calling the mountain Mount Sharp. This informal naming pays tribute to geologist Robert P. Sharp (1911-2004), a founder of planetary science, influential teacher of many current leaders in the field, and team member for NASA's early Mars missions.

This oblique view of Mount Sharp, is derived from a combination of elevation and imaging data from three Mars orbiters. The view is looking toward the southeast. Gale Crater is 96 miles (154 kilometers) in diameter.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/m ... 15292.html
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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby APODFORIST » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:10 pm

Yeah but the real name is Aeolis Mons. There was no need to overwrite an existing name.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby neufer » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:59 pm

APODFORIST wrote:
Yeah but the real name is Aeolis Mons.

There was no need to overwrite an existing name.

    In that case, the real name is "Mount Sharp":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolis_Mons wrote:
<<Discovered in the 1970s, the mountain remained nameless for perhaps 40 years. When it became a likely landing site, it was given various labels; for example, in 2010 a NASA photo caption called it "Gale crater mound". In March 2012, NASA unofficially named it "Mount Sharp", for American geologist Robert P. Sharp.

The International Astronomical Union, which is responsible for planetary nomenclature for its particpants, names large Martian mountains after the Classical albedo feature in which it is located, not for people. In May 2012 the IAU thus named the mountain Aeolis Mons, and gave the name Aeolis Palus to the crater floor plain between the northern wall of Gale Crater and the northern foothills of the mountain. In recognition of NASA and in honour of Sharp, the IAU gave the name "Robert Sharp" to a large crater (150 km in diameter), located about 260 km west of Gale Crater, following its standard practice of naming large craters after scientists.

NASA and the ESA continue to refer to the mountain as "Mount Sharp" in press conferences and press releases. This is similar to other informal names, such as the Columbia Hills near one of the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites. Sky & Telescope explained the rationales of the two names to their readers in August 2012, and held an informal poll to newsletter readers. Over 2700 voted and picked Aeolis Mons over Mount Sharp by 57% to 43%. The official name, Aeolis mons, is recorded by the United States Geological Survey. Aeolis is the ancient name of the Izmir region in western Turkey.>>
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Opportunity exceeds 35 kilometers on odometer

Postby neufer » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:
In NASA News release 2012-260 dated August 27 2012 it states "Curiosity already is returning more data from the Martian surface than have all of NASA's earlier rovers combined". That surprised me greatly! The "eventual destination" in the explanation brings up a fascinating time-lapse video showing Spirit rover's entire 4.8 miles journey over 5 years 3 months 27 days. I still have a fondness for Spirit (not dead, just having a good rest I reckon after its epic trip!) and its buddy the still ongoing Opportunity rover. :)
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status.html wrote:
<<Opportunity Exceeds 35 Kilometers Of Driving!
- sols 3051-3056, August 23-28, 2012:

On Sol 3051 (Aug. 23, 2012), Opportunity continued to move about 30 meters south along the inboard edge of Cape York, imaging the outcrop to the west with both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam). On Sol 3053 (Aug. 25, 2012), the rover drove further south with more of an inboard bias to be closer to the outcrop. Again, more detailed Pancam and Navcam surveys were performed. On Sol 3055 (Aug. 27, 2012), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on the end of the robotic arm was imaged to re-confirm the available bit for future grinding and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) collected a measurement of atmospheric argon.

On Sol 3056 (Aug. 28, 2012), Opportunity headed almost due west in a direct approach to some exciting outcrop units. With that drive, the rover passed 35 kilometers of odometry. Not bad for a vehicle designed for only about 1 mile of distance and 90 sols of lifetime.

As of Sol 3056 (Aug. 28, 2012), the solar array energy production was 568 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.570 and a solar array dust factor of 0.684.

Total odometry is 21.76 miles (35,017.33 meters).
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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby APODFORIST » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:53 pm

neufer wrote:In that case, the real name is "Mount Sharp":

Ah, so NASA was first by naming it - I didn't know that.

BTW: On the panorama photos it looks more than a hill. 8-) Maybe this illusion is caused by 'missing snow' or steep rocks like on earth. I guess I need to stand there to be able to realize its height.

Hopefully curiosity is a good climber.

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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby iamlucky13 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:47 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:In NASA News release 2012-260 dated August 27 2012 it states "Curiosity already is returning more data from the Martian surface than have all of NASA's earlier rovers combined". That surprised me greatly!


This statement was widely misinterpreted.

What they really meant, is that in the first X days of the mission, MSL returned more data than the combined amount those previous rovers returned in X days.

It will take MSL a couple years to match what Spirit and Opportunity have returned.

APODFORIST wrote:BTW: On the panorama photos it looks more than a hill. 8-) Maybe this illusion is caused by 'missing snow' or steep rocks like on earth. I guess I need to stand there to be able to realize its height.

Hopefully curiosity is a good climber.


It's definitely not a hill. Mt. Sharp rises 18,000 feet above the floor of the crater, making it nearly the height of Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in North America.

The wide-angle perspective cause it to look much smaller than it is.

Compare that nav-cam mosaic to the telephoto mastcam image below:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia ... ageID=4568
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Re: APOD: Curiosity on Mars: Mt Sharp in View (2012 Aug 27)

Postby Andrea » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:51 pm

Wow!


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