Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 2027, April 15, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover in carrying out Sol 2028 science duties.

Reports Scott Guzewich, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland: “This was a week of transition for Curiosity’s environmental science team. The cloudy season on Mars has ended as we’ve seen a marked decrease in water ice cloud activity in our Navcam sky movies over the last several weeks and we’re moving quickly into the dusty season on Mars.”

Curiosity Navcam Left B photo acquired on Sol 2027, April 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Guzewich adds that the Mars science team will now be drastically reducing the frequency in which they search for clouds and instead focus their attention on dust devils and storms.

Dustier atmosphere

“The atmosphere is beginning to get dustier, as seen by the hazy look of the northern rim in Gale Crater,” Guzewich adds. “Indeed, we began preplanning our annual campaign to study a potential global dust storm, if and when such a storm develops this year. The dusty season on Mars, roughly the second half of the martian year, runs from the end of May until February next year, and we’ll be monitoring closely for the signs that a global dust storm (the last of which occurred way back in 2008!) is developing,” he points out.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 2027, April 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Southern spring equinox

On Mars, routine business continued as the science team performed a “touch-and-go” plan with Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) images of rock targets “Hawick”, “Kemnay”, and “Buchan”, before driving toward the robot’s next destination.

The plan calls for Curiosity to take two movies to look for dust devils and two more Mastcam image sequences to monitor the (increasing) amount of dust in the atmosphere as the rover moves toward southern spring equinox, Guzewich concludes.

New map

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

A new Curiosity traverse map shows the rover’s whereabouts through Sol 2027.

The map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 2027 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (April 20, 2018).

Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. The scale bar is 1 kilometer (~0.62 mile).

From Sol 2023 to Sol 2027, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 279.70 feet (85.25 meters), bringing the rover’s total odometry for the mission to 11.68 miles (18.79 kilometers).

The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

One Response to “Curiosity Mars Rover: Dealing with Dustier Atmosphere”

  • Luiza says:

    This Planetary System was in evolution, and its Planets were very close to their Star, and leaving their Geological and Volcanic Cycles.

    At that time Mars was in the position where the Earth is now, hence it had the capacity to harbor life.

    It had exactly the same conditions that the Earth has been a World with great abundance of water, having Life, including Oceans, Lakes, the presence of Water on Mars in the not too distant past, as is demonstrated in these Rocks sediments that were found and show clearly that there was a lot of water from Lagos or Oceans, everything is possible so I think we should face this very realistically, because WATER is present in the whole Universe in various forms.

    I believe that this Planet in a distant past, not far away Mars was a World with an environment very similar to Earth, I believe a lot in this, and I must not be wrong in my thinking, because this fact obeys the evolution of the Solar System over millions years.

    With the progressive withdrawal of its original orbit,
    its structure Geo thermal underwent deep transformations that completely altered its Climate, and its Atmosphere.
    Originally the sequence of the Planets of the Solar System, it was very different from what it presents today.

    I will use Mars as a reference to better demonstrate what I think, because that may have been exactly how it happened.

    There is an important factor in the current location of Mars and the Earth in the Solar System.

    The Solar System was originally very different, these two Planets were not in their current position, because at the time of the formation of the Solar System, the Inner Planets were much closer to the Sun than at present, with the exception of Mercury , which still retains the same original position.
    Mars was in the position where the Earth is today, that in times distant this world may have had life.

    A possibility to be taken very seriously, as a result of the many discoveries that have been made, which show that this World had water in the past, and we can not deny it in any way.

    Mercury existed, at that time possibly this little Planet was a Moon of Venus, this issue should be analyzed in detail, as it is a very plausible possibility.

    The Sequence of the Planets at that time, Venus was in the place where Mercury is currently located, Earth in the position of Venus, Mars in the position where Earth is today.

    This question must be taken into account, because the whole Universe is in evolution.

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