01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
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
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Curiosity's ChemCam Removes DustThis pair of images taken a few minutes apart show how laser firing by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity removes dust from the surface of a rock. The images were taken by the remote micro-imager camera in the laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument during the 84th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Oct. 31, 2012). The area covered in each image is about 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) across, on a rock target called "Rocknest_3."
Between the time the remote micro-imager took the image on the left and the time it took the image on the right, ChemCam fired its laser 300 times - 10 bursts of 30 shots - along a vertical line. The image on the right shows that a stripe of dust was removed. The interaction of the laser beam with the surface is on the order of 0.02 inch (half a millimeter), but the stripe is more than 10 times wider, on the order of 0.3 inch (7 millimeters). A shock wave that occurs when the laser hits the rock is responsible for the wider area of dust removal.
Dust tends to cover everything on Mars. ChemCam has the capability to remove this layer to access the underlying rock and expose dust-free surfaces to other optical investigations.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS