Monday, May 30, 2022

NASA's Mars Curiosity & Perseverance Rovers—New May 2022 Images | JPL

NASA's Mars Curiosity & Perseverance Rovers—New May 2022 Images | JPL

Mars2020 - Sol 452 - Watson

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Kevin M. Gill

Mars2020 - Sol 451 - Mastcam-Z
NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - Sol 3485 - Mastcam

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Mars2020 - Sol 448 - Mastcam-Z

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - Sol 3485 - Mastcam
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - Sol 3483 - Mastcam
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - Sol 3481 - Mastcam

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Curiosity Rover Update:

"Our intrepid rover engineers again successfully navigated Curiosity a little higher up Mount Sharp (~5 m) and ~40 m on the ground, away from our previous location. The terrain beneath the rover included striated, dusty bedrock and sand ripples with coarse lag deposits."

"The environmental scientists planned several observations to continue monitoring changes in atmospheric conditions and the current dust storm within Gale crater. These included: Navcam line of sight images, a large dust devil survey, suprahorizon movies, a dust devil movie, and a zenith movie; and Mastcam basic and full tau observations."

Caption Credit: Lucy Thompson, Planetary Geologist, University of New Brunswick

Release Date: May 26, 2022

Perseverance Rover Update:

Since NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars, its two microphones have recorded hours of audio that provide valuable information about the Martian atmosphere.

After more than a year of recording on the surface, the team reduced the data to a Martian playlist that features about five hours of sounds. Most of the time, Mars is very quiet. Sounds are 20 decibels lower than on Earth for the same source, and there are few natural noises except for the wind.

"It is so quiet that, at some point, we thought the microphone was broken!" said Chide.

However, after listening carefully to the data, the group uncovered fascinating phenomena. There was a lot of variability in the wind, and the atmosphere could abruptly change from calm to intense with rapid gusts. By listening to well-characterized and intentional laser sparks, Perseverance calculated the dispersion of the sound speed, confirming a theory that high-frequency sounds travel faster than those at low frequencies.

"Mars is the only place in the solar system where that happens in the audible bandwidth because of the unique properties of the carbon dioxide molecule that composes the atmosphere," said Chide.

The red planet's seasons impact its soundscape. As carbon dioxide freezes in the polar caps during winter, the density of the atmosphere changes and the environment loudness varies by about 20%. That molecule also attenuates high-pitched sounds with distance.

Source: Baptiste Chide of Los Alamos National Lab/Mars Daily

Release Date: May 26, 2022

Mission Name: Mars 2020

Rover Name: Perseverance

Main Job: Seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth.

Launch: July 30, 2020    

Landing: Feb. 18, 2021, Jezero Crater, Mars

Mission Name: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Rover Name: Curiosity

Main Job: To determine if Mars was ever habitable to microbial life. 

Launch: November 6, 2011

Landing: August 5, 2012, Gale Crater, Mars

For more information on NASA's Mars missions, visit

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Kevin M. Gill

Image Release Dates: May 25-29, 2022

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