Curious about Curiosity - Page 8

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Posts: 344

Reply: 141

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 2:15 PM 

Curiosity does have a "nose"! It can sniff the atmosphere to detect methane. Moreover, it can measure the isotopic composition of the carbon isotopes in the methane. Life tends to favor the less heavy isotopes.

It has other instruments that may or may not be able to detect carbon-based substances in the soil. It has a drill that can extract near sub-surface material and deliver it to the instruments.


Posts: 3062

Reply: 142

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 3:16 PM 


See this one published today


Re. the id of organic compounds. I'm somewhat confident that Organics will be identified, although given the history of the search for organics it is not a shoo-in by any means.

Most of the momentum nowadays seems to be towards the eventual id of organics on the surface or subsurface. I am cautiously predicting that organics will be found in association with or near to the phyllosilicates in the nearby alluvial fan. If they don't find some there I think that the microenvironment where they should find some is just beneath the surface in an area with microchannels.



Posts: xxx

Reply: 143

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 3:31 PM 

Fascinating article Winston. Very Happy


Posts: 250

Reply: 144

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 4:00 PM 

MSL can really "look" into the rock varnish story (instrument wise) if wanted this time. Lets hope there will be some opportunities to do so in the Gale Crater area.

Barsoomer, unfortunatly Gale Crater is not in an area where the seasonal methane plumes have been detected (MV is by the way). I dont put much hope in MSL resolving the methane mystery for now due to its (astrobiology-) remote location...


Posts: xxx

Reply: 145

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 4:06 PM 

Thanks for the MRO pic its the first time I have seen that one I was hoping they would catch it.
I know most people dont care but will the rover have ears this time ?


Posts: 3465

Reply: 146

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 5:22 PM 

Curiosity sol 0001 ( Aug 6, 2012 ) Rear Hazcam view of wheel after landing with the dust cap open:

This is still only 1/2 size - but already looking better!


Posts: 3465

Reply: 147

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 6:14 PM 

Mt Sharp:

full resolution with location link.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 148

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 6:31 PM 

Mt Sharp ( HD format ):

There seem to be a lot of really round pebbles here. NOT Blueberries?


Posts: xxx

Reply: 149

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 6:53 PM 

Can we have an extra board for curiosity?
someone write the mods plz


Posts: 1661

Reply: 150

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 7:02 PM 


It was made 2 years ago...please use it.



h>>>perhaps you can relocate all the MSL threads into that main category?



Posts: xxx

Reply: 151

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 7:14 PM 

Nice one Hort that #148 makes me want to jump for more but unlike Spirit and Oppy this is a Marathon not a Sprint. Two Years min vs 30 Day min. 3 weeks for testing then we are off.

So excited can't believe this is real and NASA/JPL did such a thing. Just one big WOW! 5.30am start for me to witness it then a mad day of work. So worth it.

Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 152

PostPosted: August 6, 2012 8:24 PM 

This HiRise image covers the landing site, I think. Curiosity is near the east margin and near where the north and south halves of the image join.

There are sure a lot of interesting features in within a few kilometers. Bright ripple-fields, diverse dark ripple-fields, bedrock outcrops, polygon ground.... There are lots of small craters but all subdued, it seems. Happy Days!


Posts: 250

Reply: 153

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 3:41 AM 

Here is footage from MARDI (Mars Decent Imager):

I really hoped (from the specs of the cam) for a better quality but this is what we got. Smile


Posts: 250

Reply: 154

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 3:49 AM 

erratum 153: the HD version of the decent will follow later when all images are relayed to Earth - MARDI is a 1600 x 1200 pixels "true color" cam after all. Very Happy


Posts: 692

Reply: 155

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 3:55 AM 

Horton, your 3D #147 is well done! And even those HazCams show a really promising high quality of images from MSL.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 156

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 5:16 PM 

Is it my imagination or isn't there a dust cloud (from the descent stage crash?) at the horizon in the first picture taken (Taken just after landing, before opening the dust cover, marked as Rear Hazcam: Left A
2012-08-06 05:18:38 UTC)

Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 157

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 7:43 PM 

I still think that this HiRise image shows the landing site:

I'm using the approximate location linked by ESA in the Curiosity Landing Coordinates thread (Thanks). I'm pretty lazy, hoping someone else will come up with the exact location. In the meanwhile, by holding a ruler up to the screen, I've narrowed C's location down to the upper right corner of the southern half of the image.

There is a notable drop nearby, about 400 m long running overall north-south, falling maybe a few m across 20 m west to east. It appears to show layering. There is polygonal ground adjacent seeming continuous with the layered outcrop. Fascinating place already!


Posts: 3062

Reply: 158

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 9:39 PM 

MPJ; If MSL "true colour" is the typical NASA "true color" I hope that they also will release the raw images that are combined into their true colours or leave them in a format where the images can be disassembled into the component RGB raw images.



Posts: 3062

Reply: 159

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 9:58 PM 


I think the image below shows where Curiosity has landed in relation to the alluvial fan etc.

Curiosity is the blue diamond shaped area just outside the edge of the alluvial fan, within the final smaller target area.

Imaged combined from two NASA images.



Posts: 3062

Reply: 160

PostPosted: August 7, 2012 10:01 PM 

Oops! That should be green diamond shaped area.

Note that Curiosity is optimally placed within striking distance of the alluvial fans, clays, sulphates and other areas of interest.


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