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[Merged]Curiosity Targets Unusual Rock

mars curiosity mars science laboratory rover nasa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf


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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:52 PM

NASA Mars Rover Targets Unusual Rock on Its Journey

www.nasa.gov said:

Posted Image

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. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech› Full image and caption  › Latest images   › Curiosity gallery  › Curiosity videos

This mosaic from the Mast Camera on<br />
NASA's Curiosity rover shows a<br />
close-up view looking toward the<br />
"Glenelg" area, where three different<br />
terrain types come together.<br />
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS  <br />
<a href='http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16150.html' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'> › Full image and caption</a>
This mosaic from the Mast Camera on
NASA's Curiosity rover shows a
close-up view looking toward the
"Glenelg" area, where three different
terrain types come together.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS  
› Full image and caption
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover's arm to examine.

Curiosity is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) from the rock. It lies about halfway from the rover's landing site, Bradbury Landing, to a location called Glenelg. In coming days, the team plans to touch the rock with a spectrometer to determine its elemental composition and use an arm-mounted camera to take close-up photographs.

Both the arm-mounted Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer and the mast-mounted, laser-zapping Chemistry and Camera Instrument will be used for identifying elements in the rock. This will allow cross-checking of the two instruments.

The rock has been named "Jake Matijevic." Jacob Matijevic (mah-TEE-uh-vik) was the surface operations systems chief engineer for Mars Science Laboratory and the project's Curiosity rover. He passed away Aug. 20, at age 64. Matijevic also was a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity.

Curiosity now has driven six days in a row. Daily distances range from 72 feet to 121 feet (22 meters to 37 meters).

"This robot was built to rove, and the team is really getting a good rhythm of driving day after day when that's the priority," said Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Richard Cook of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The team plans to choose a rock in the Glenelg area for the rover's first use of its capability to analyze powder drilled from interiors of rocks. Three types of terrain intersect in the Glenelg area -- one lighter-toned and another more cratered than the terrain Curiosity currently is crossing. The light-toned area is of special interest because it retains daytime heat long into the night, suggesting an unusual composition.

"As we're getting closer to the light-toned area, we see thin, dark bands of unknown origin," said Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "The smaller-scale diversity is becoming more evident as we get closer, providing more potential targets for investigation."

Mars has two small, asteroid-sized moons<br />
named Phobos and Deimos. From the point<br />
of view of the rover, located near the<br />
equator of Mars, these moons occasionally<br />
pass in front of, or "transit," the disk<br />
of the sun.<br />
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS   <br />
<a href='http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16151.html' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'> › Full image and caption</a>
Mars has two small, asteroid-sized moons
named Phobos and Deimos. From the point
of view of the rover, located near the
equator of Mars, these moons occasionally
pass in front of, or "transit," the disk
of the sun.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS  
› Full image and caption
Researchers are using Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) to find potential targets on the ground. Recent new images from the rover's camera reveal dark streaks on rocks in the Glenelg area that have increased researchers' interest in the area. In addition to taking ground images, the camera also has been busy looking upward.

On two recent days, Curiosity pointed the Mastcam at the sun and recorded images of Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos, passing in front of the sun from the rover's point of view. Results of these transit observations are part of a long-term study of changes in the moons' orbits. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which arrived at Mars in 2004, also have observed solar transits by Mars' moons. Opportunity is doing so again this week.

"Phobos is in an orbit very slowly getting closer to Mars, and Deimos is in an orbit very slowly getting farther from Mars," said Curiosity's science team co-investigator Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station. "These observations help us reduce uncertainty in calculations of the changes."

In Curiosity's observations of Phobos this week, the time when the edge of the moon began overlapping the disc of the sun was predictable to within a few seconds. Uncertainty in timing is because Mars' interior structure isn't fully understood.

Phobos causes small changes to the shape of Mars in the same way Earth's moon raises tides. The changes to Mars' shape depend on the Martian interior which, in turn, cause Phobos' orbit to decay. Timing the orbital change more precisely provides information about Mars' interior structure.

During Curiosity's two-year prime mission, researchers will use the rover's 10 science instruments to assess whether the selected field site inside Gale Crater ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

For more about Curiosity, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl . You can follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .

Guy Webster / D.C. Agle 818-354-5011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov / agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington


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#2    Professor Buzzkill

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:57 AM

Clearly evidence of a tiny race of aliens

#3    Paramys



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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:38 AM

awwwwwww so cute tiny ikkle alien pyramid or is it, it might be the tip of a pyramid the size of olympus mons but its buried from millions of years of dust gathering up and an alien conspiracy to cover there existance, or the aliens are living in it and its underground because of the harsh conditions and a dust storm has uncovered the tip of it.

or its just a rock that looks like a pyramid a complete coincidence of nature on mars and corrosion.

#4    gedders


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:13 PM

THATS THE TOP OF MY GATEPOST..... can nasa please send it back when their done with it.  always knew my next door neighbour was martian never got my hovermower back of him and if nasa find that they can keep it (got a new ride on!)

#5    DKO


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:50 PM

Obviously it's a Martian scale model of the Egyptian pyramids.


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#6    Timonthy



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Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:02 PM





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Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:18 PM

Y`all beat me to it !  I thought this would fit well in the Best Evidence thread,But It works here too !
Marvin left that right in front of Curiosity just to tease us. Its like when E.T comes to ck on us here on earth, Were eithe drunk. half asleep,or only able to take blury photos of them.
At least we have great cameras on Curiosity ! :tu:

This is a Work in Progress!

#8    Skithia


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:29 PM

snicker that puts the kibosh on the claim those eastern European pyramid mountains cant possibly be natural then

#9    Sundew



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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:43 PM

Yep, that's a rock all right! Obvious proof that Martians influenced the Egyptians. Now if they can just find a tiny Sphinx.

#10    Capt Amerika

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:51 PM

Its a vendors souvenier from some alien families trip to Egypt.

#11    sergeantflynn


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:41 PM

I wonder if the Rover is carrying a poop-scoop......

#12    Daughter of the Nine Moons

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:51 PM

It's a shame to see so many jaded responses. I for one, remain in awe of the fact that Curiousity is beaming pictures from the surface of Mars.

"You cannot pass," he said. … "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

#13    TheMolePatrol


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:16 PM

The full picture for this is crazy, the rock is like all by its self in a clear area.

#14    Jackofalltrades


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:43 PM

It resemble's a capstone off a pyramid (in my opinion)

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#15    ManchesterDragon


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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:52 PM

It's the nose of the sphinx the God damm martians stole it

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