12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Mars Weather Map, 2008This global map of Mars was acquired on Oct. 28, 2008, by the Mars Color Imager instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It was acquired during the same season that NASA's Curiosity rover will land in, but two Mars years earlier. It is remarkably free of water ice clouds when compared with the maps acquired this year in the days leading up to Curiosity's landing.
In 2008, during this season, the planet was dustier than usual. Larger amounts of dust cause sunlight to warm the atmosphere and make it less dense, which means less stopping power for a landing rover. What's more, dusty conditions can lead to an increased chance for small, intense dust storms, another challenge for rover landings. So far, the weather forecast for Curiosity calls for a clearer atmosphere; nonetheless, the spacecraft has been designed to land safely under conditions similar to those observed in 2008.
The map is a rectangular projection of Mars (from 90 degrees latitude to minus 90 degrees latitude, and minus 180 degrees longitude to 180 degrees east longitude). The landing site is located on the right side of the map, near 137 degrees east longitude and 4.5 degrees south latitude. Along the northern (top) and southern (bottom) parts of the map there are patches of orange clouds, indicating dust lofted into the atmosphere.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS