How NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Takes a Selfie
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover takes a lot of selfies. These images are used to preserve the scene where the rover drilled samples from the surface. But have you ever wondered what these selfies look like from Curiosity's point of view? And why the rover's arm isn't in the picture? This video shows Curiosity taking a selfie at the "Hutton" drill site on Feb. 26, 2020 (the 2,687th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). A total of 86 images were taken and later stitched into a panorama (the final selfie). The video was taken with one of Curiosity's black and white Navigation Cameras on the rover's mast. It shows the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera that Curiosity uses to take all its selfies. At the very end, you can see MAHLI's cover closing, which protects it from Martian dust. Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech
The Search for Life: Exploring Ocean Worlds (live public talk)
The search for life is "civilization level science." What happens if or when we find it? Using the upcoming block of "Ocean Access" missions, astrobiologist Morgan Cable shows us why ocean worlds are important and what the discovery of life could mean to us as a civilization. Host:
Brian White Speaker(s):
Morgan Cable, Astrobiology and Ocean Worlds, JPL Original Air Date: March 5, 2020
NASA's Latest Mars Rover Has a Name (recap video)
NASA has chosen a name for its next Mars rover: Perseverance. The name was announced March 5, 2020, by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was on hand at the school to congratulate Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s "Name the Rover" essay contest, which received 28,000 entrants from K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory. Perseverance is the latest in a long line of Red Planet rovers to be named by school-aged children, from Sojourner in 1997 to Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on Mars in 2004, to Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars since 2012. In each case, the name was selected after a nationwide contest. The launch period for Perseverance opens on July 17, 2020. The rover will land at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.
For more information on the Mars 2020 mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/ For more about the “Name the Rover” contest, visit https://go.nasa.gov/name2020
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Naming Announcement (media teleconference + visuals)
NASA will unveil the name of the agency’s next Mars rover, currently known as Mars 2020, on Thursday, March 5, followed by this media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. ET about the mission and the naming. The Mars 2020 rover was the subject of a nationwide naming contest in 2019 that drew more than 28,000 essays by K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory. Nearly 4,700 volunteer judges – educators, professionals, and space enthusiasts from around the country – helped narrow the pool down to 155 semifinalists. A second round of judging selected the nine finalist essays that were open to an online public poll before Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, made the final selection. For more information, visit https://go.nasa.gov/2IeQNAj Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Curiosity Mars Rover Snaps 1.8 Billion-Pixel Panorama (narrated video)
NASA Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada guides this tour of the rover's view of the Martian surface. This panorama showcases "Glen Torridon," a region on the side of Mount Sharp that Curiosity is exploring. The panorama was taken between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019, when the Curiosity team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the rover would be sitting still with few other tasks to do while it waited for the team to return and provide its next commands, the rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings several days in a row without moving. Composed of more than 1,000 images and carefully assembled over the ensuing months, the larger version of this composite contains nearly 1.8 billion pixels of Martian landscape. Explore more in this 360 video: https://youtu.be/0fva2pH41FM
For more about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/msl Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Curiosity Mars Rover’s 1.8 Billion-Pixel Pano (360 View)
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover produced this 360-degree panorama of "Glen Torridon," a region on the side of Mount Sharp. The panorama was taken between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019, when the mission team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the rover would be sitting still with few other tasks to do while it waited for the team to return and provide its next commands, the rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings several days in a row without moving. Composed of more than 1,000 images and carefully assembled over the ensuing months, the larger version of this composite contains nearly 1.8 billion pixels of Martian landscape. Explore more in this video narrated by Curiosity project scientist Ashwin Vasavada: https://youtu.be/X2UaFuJsqxk Important note: Not all browsers support viewing 360 videos/images. YouTube supports uploading and playback of 360 degree videos/images on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers. If your browser does not support 360, a static view of this same panorama image is available at: https://go.nasa.gov/32NNR7k For more about the mission, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/msl Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
What's Up: March 2020 Skywatching Tips from NASA
Looking for astronomy highlights for March 2020? This month, early risers enjoy a planetary grouping of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the early morning sky. Plus a closer look at Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and spot a lovely trio at sunset on March 28.
Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa . Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Team CoSTAR Subterranean Challenge Practice Run
Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Robots (CoSTAR) is developing robots that can autonomously explore caves, pits, tunnels and other subsurface terrain. Watch the team and their squad of robots prepare for the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit during a practice run at Elma High School in Elma, Washington, in the days leading up to the competition. The team ultimately came in first place in the competition. Held by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the competition is intended to develop technology for first responders to map, navigate and search underground. Technology developed for the competition will also lay the foundation for future NASA missions to caves and lava tubes on other planets. For more info on Team CoSTAR, visit https://subt.jpl.nasa.gov/ Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech
NASA advances plans to bring samples back from Mars
Collecting samples from Mars and bringing them back to Earth is a historic undertaking that starts with the launch of NASA's Mars 2020 rover. The rover will collect samples and leave them ready for a future mission to retrieve and return to Earth. That future mission involves the collaboration of NASA with the European Space Agency. Visit some of the labs at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where prototypes and engineering models involved in the Mars Sample Return campaign are being tested.
For more information, visit mars.nasa.gov.
Beyond the Pale Blue Dot: Seeing Distant Planets (Live Public Talk)
On the 30th anniversary of the "Pale Blue Dot" image taken by NASA’s Voyager mission, we’ll look at the impact of that image and other distant views of Earth. We'll then turn to the quest to photograph another Earth — an exoplanet orbiting another star — as its own pale blue dot. Join us for a discussion about perspective: the value of what a single pixel can tell us and what it can make us feel. Host:
Preston Dyches Speaker(s):
Rich Terrile, astronomer and Voyager imaging team member, NASA-JPL
Rob Zellem, exoplanetary astronomer, NASA-JPL Original Air Date: February 6, 2020 - 7 pm PT (10 pm ET)
What's Up: February 2020 Skywatching Tips from NASA
Looking for astronomy highlights for February 2020? This month is the best time of the year to try to view Mercury, soon after sunset; Mars disappears behind the Moon on Feb. 18; and the bright red star on Orion’s shoulder, Betelgeuse, has been acting weird. (Or has it?) Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA Team Salutes Spitzer Space Telescope
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope’s mission concluded on Jan. 30, 2020, at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. After more than 16 years of studying the universe in infrared light, the spacecraft entered a state known as safe mode and ceased science operations. Launched in 2003, Spitzer revealed previously hidden features of known cosmic objects and led to discoveries and insights spanning from our own solar system to nearly the edge of the universe. For more information on the Spitzer Space Telescope, go to https://www.nasa.gov/spitzer NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, conducts mission operations and manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at IPAC at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California, built the Spitzer spacecraft, and during development served as lead for systems and engineering, and integration and testing. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation in Boulder, Colorado provided the optics, cryogenics and thermal shells and shields for Spitzer. Ball developed the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) instrument, with science leadership based at Cornell University, and the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) instrument, with science leadership based at the University of Arizona in Tucson. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, developed the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) instrument, with science leadership based at the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Spitzer's Final Voyage (live public talk)
Original Air Date: Jan. 23, 2020 The Spitzer Space Telescope has been observing the universe in infrared light for over 16 years. As the mission comes to a close, we’ll take a look at some of the amazing highlights and the lasting legacy of this incredible observatory. Host:
Brian White Speaker(s):
Varoujan Gorjian, Spitzer Research Scientist, JPL
Robert Hurt, Spitzer Visualization Scientist, Caltech/IPAC
Suzanne Dodd, Former Spitzer Project Manager (2010-2016), JPL
Joseph Hunt, Spitzer Project Manager (Current), JPL
Science In A Minute: What is Infrared Light?
What is infrared light and how do we use it to study the universe? Infrared radiation, or infrared light, is a type of energy that we humans can't see but can feel as heat. All objects in the universe emit some level of infrared radiation, whether hot or cold, making an infrared telescope like NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope very useful in detecting objects that might seem invisible. For more information on the Spitzer Space Telescope go to www.nasa.gov/spitzer.
Science In A Minute: The Art of Spitzer Space Telescope
How do scientists turn data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope into the incredible images we see? It's not as simple as just snapping a picture of the universe. There is a process for gathering the data from Spitzer and coding it so that colors and pictures can emerge from the data. The process can be lengthy, but well worth the breathtaking images we receive in the end.
For more information on the Spitzer Space Telescope go to www.nasa.gov/spitzer.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (Mission Overview)
After 16 years of unveiling the infrared universe, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has left a singular legacy. As one of NASA’s four Great Observatories -- a series of powerful telescopes including Hubble, Chandra and Compton that can observe the cosmos in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum --Spitzer quickly became a pioneer in the exploration of the worlds beyond our human vision. From stars being born to planets beyond our solar system (like the seven Earth-size planets around the star TRAPPIST-1), Spitzer's science discoveries will continue to inspire the world for many years to come. For more information about the Spitzer Space Telescope, visit https://nasa.gov/spitzer and http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/
NASA’s New Planet Tracker, NEID
A new NASA-funded planet-hunting instrument has been installed on the WIYN telescope, on Arizona’s Kitt Peak. NEID (pronounced “NOO-id,” rhymes with fluid) is a spectrometer that is one of the first instruments of its kind with the precision to detect small, terrestrial planets around nearby stars. NEID will also confirm the presence of planets discovered by NASA’s TESS space telescope, and reveal details of their anatomy.
Eventually, scientists want to be able to find Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars, in an effort to find a world with life on it.
What's Up: January 2020 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the night sky during January 2020? The peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower, Mars rises with its "rival" — the red giant star Antares — and the Moon and Venus pair up. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa . Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech
First Drive Test of NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover
On Dec. 17, 2019, engineers took NASA’s next Mars rover for its first spin. The test took place in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This was the first drive test for the new rover, which will move to Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the beginning of next year to prepare for its launch to Mars in the summer. Engineers are checking that all the systems are working together properly, the rover can operate under its own weight, and the rover can demonstrate many of its autonomous navigation functions. The launch window for Mars 2020 opens on July 17, 2020. The rover will land at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. For more information on the Mars 2020 mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/ Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
What's Up: December 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
What can you see in the December sky? Beautiful pairings of planets and the crescent Moon throughout the month, at sunrise and sunset. Here's where and when to look to see Venus, Saturn and Mars. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa . Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech