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Sonntag, 23. September 2012 - 12:31 Uhr

Astronomie - Bolide über England am 21.09.2012

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People from across the UK have reported seeing bright objects in the night sky, thought to be meteors or "space junk"

Coastguards in Northern Ireland took calls from people who saw the objects from Coleraine on the north coast, to Strangford Lough in the south east.

The lights were seen as far north as Caithness in Scotland as well as in Wales and Norfolk in East Anglia.

Experts said the sightings could be satellite debris, burning up on entry to the atmosphere.

The lights have also been reported in the Midlands, parts of north-east England and in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Brian Guthrie in Grangemouth near Edinburgh, who watched the objects pass through the sky, said it appeared to be something "pretty large breaking up in the atmosphere".

"I've seen shooting stars and meteor showers before, but this was much larger and much more colourful."

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Quelle: BBC


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Samstag, 22. September 2012 - 22:58 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ESA untersucht, ob sich Mars- oder Mondgestein für den Schutz von Astronauten vor Weltraumstrahlung eignet

 

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Bemannte Missionen jenseits der Erdumlaufbahn sind erhöhter kosmischer Strahlung ausgesetzt. Im Auftrag der ESA untersucht die GSI, Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung, mit ihrem Teilchenbeschleuniger mögliche Schutzschilde für Astronauten, darunter auch Mond- und Marsgestein.
 
Im Rahmen des zweijährigen ESA-Projekts ROSSINI -'Strahlungsabschirmung durch ISRU (Rohstoff-Ausnutzung vor Ort) und/oder innovative Materialien für EVA, Fahrzeug und Habitat' – hat man damit begonnen, die vielversprechendsten Materialien für den Schutz künftiger Astronauten auf dem Mond, den Asteroiden oder dem Mars auszuwerten. „Wir arbeiten mit der einzigen Einrichtung Europas zusammen, die in der Lage ist, hochenergetische schwere Kerne zu simulieren, die in der galaktischen kosmischen Strahlung vorkommen: Die GSI, Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung GmbH in Darmstadt“, erklärt ESA-Projektmanagerin Alessandra Menicucci. 

„Die GSI hat auch Zugang zu ihrem amerikanischen Pendant, dem Space Radiation Laboratory der NASA in Brookhaven im US-Bundesstaat New York, wo unser erster Testdurchlauf vor Kurzem durchgeführt wurde.“

„Wir haben Materialien wie Aluminium, Wasser, Polyethylen-Kunststoffe und Vielschichtstrukturen untersucht und Mond- und Marsmaterial simuliert, letzteres anhand der Beschaffenheit, wie sie bei Planetenexpeditionen verfügbar sein werden. Wir haben auch ein neuartiges Material zur Lagerung von Wasserstoff gefunden, das besonders vielversprechend ist.“

Astronauten offiziell als Strahlenarbeiter klassifiziert

Der Weltraum ist voll mit geladenen Teilchen, was bedeutet, dass Astronauten offiziell als Strahlenarbeiter klassifiziert sind. Die Internationale Raumstation bewegt sich in ihrer Erdumlaufbahn innerhalb des Erdmagnetfelds und schützt so ihre Insassen vor dem Großteil der Weltraumstrahlung. Bewegt man sich weiter weg, wird eine entsprechende Abschirmung erforderlich sein.

Die Weltraumstrahlung kommt von der Sonne, und zwar in Form von intensiven, aber kurzlebigen Sonneneruptionen; galaktische kosmische Strahlung stammt von außerhalb unseres Sonnensystems: Atomkerne, die aus explodierenden Sternen entstehen und von Magnetfeldern beschleunigt werden, während sie durch die Galaxie reisen.

„Sonneneruptionen bestehen aus Protonen, die recht einfach abzuschirmen sind“, fügt Alessandra Menicucci hinzu.

„Die große Herausforderung für Deep-Space-Missionen ist die galaktische kosmische Strahlung, der man über ein breites Energiespektrum ausgesetzt ist – obwohl sich der Expositionsgrad mit dem 11-jährigen Sonnenzyklus verändert.“

Die meisten Partikel der kosmischen galaktischen Strahlung sind kleine Protonen oder Heliumkerne. 1 % jedoch sind größer, von der Größe eines Eisenatoms oder mehr - bekannt als „hochionisierte hochenergetische Partikel“ oder kurz HZE genannt.
 
 
"Je leichter der Atomkern eines Materials ist, desto besser ist der Schutz"
 
Strahlungsabschirmung kann widersinnig sein, denn dichter und dicker bedeutet nicht unbedingt immer besser. HZEs, die auf Metallschilde auftreffen, können einen Regen von Sekundärpartikeln erzeugen, die sogar noch schädlicher sein können. Mit der zunehmenden Dicke eines Schutzschildes nimmt der Energieverlust der ionisierenden Strahlung bis zu einem Spitzenwert zu und sinkt dann schnell wieder ab.

„Das heißt, je leichter der Atomkern eines Materials ist, desto besser ist der Schutz“, so Menicucci.

Wasser und Polyethylen verhielten sich zum Beispiel besser als Aluminium, und neue, wasserstoffreiche Materialien, wie von der britischen Firma Cella Energy entwickelt, schnitten in den Tests noch besser ab. Das in Oxfordshire beheimatete Unternehmen Cella Energy entwickelte seine zum Patent angemeldeten Materialien ursprünglich zur Lagerung von Wasserstoff als Treibstoff, untersucht jedoch derzeit die Strahlungsfestigkeit.

Im Rahmen von ROSSINI werden auch komplexe "Monte Carlo"-Simulationen durchgeführt, um einen statistischen Überblick über Strahlungseffekte zu erhalten. Eine wichtige Ressource ist der von CERN in internationaler Zusammenarbeit entwickelte und im Large-Hadron-Collider eingesetzte Geant4-Toolkit, mit dem simuliert wird, wie Partikel auf Materie auftreffen.

„Die Simulationsergebnisse werden dann mit den Testdaten verglichen. Das ist ein wichtiger Schritt, denn dies ist ein so komplexes Feld mit vielen Unbekannten, besonders was die Humanbiologie angeht“, so Menicucci weiter. Unsere abgeschlossene Forschung wird dann für die Planung von bemannten Missionen verfügbar sein.“

Das Unternehmen Thales Alenia Space Italy leitet das ROSSINI-Projekt für die ESA. Die GSI sorgt dabei für die Tests und Datenanalysen, das Schweizer Unternehmen SpaceIT arbeitet an den Simulationen.

Die Zusammenarbeit zwischen ESA und GSI geht auch über ROSSINI hinaus: Die ESA wird ein Hauptnutzer der neuen FAIR-Beschleuniger-Anlage zur Forschung mit Antiprotonen und Ionen sein. Nach der Fertigstellung ermöglicht FAIR Experimente mit einem noch größeren Spektrum an Partikelenergien.

Quelle: ESA

   

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Samstag, 22. September 2012 - 13:00 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - CENAP in der Presse

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21.09.2012


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Samstag, 22. September 2012 - 12:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Space Shuttle Endeavour´s Flug ins Museum-Update

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Shuttle Endeavour makes bittersweet final flight over Space Coast

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Fotos:NASA

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Houston, we have a space shuttle. The space shuttle Endeavour landed in Houston today (Sept. 19) for a one-day stopover while en route to its new museum home in California.
Endeavour landed in Houston while riding piggyback atop a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet to end the first leg of its three-day journey to Los Angeles, where the retired space shuttle will ultimately be transformed into a museum exhibit at the California Science Center.
The shuttle is expected to arrive in California on Friday (Sept. 21), but only after a cross-country farewell tour of sorts. Since NASA's 30-year space shuttle program retired last year, this is NASA's final space shuttle ferry flight across the United States.
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Crowds gather around the space shuttle Endeavour, carried atop NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, after landing at Ellington Field on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in Houston. Endeavour stopped in Houston on its way from the Kennedy Space Center to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be placed on permanent display.
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The space shuttle that flew on NASA’s next-to-last shuttle flight is expected to make an appearance Thursday in the skies over Tucson as it heads to its final home in California.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour will fly over the city at about noon, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in an e-mail.
The Tucson portion of the flight will honor former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, a former astronaut who commanded Endeavour’s final mission to space in May 2011, according to media reports.
Media reports said Kelly requested the shuttle fly over Tucson, and NASA agreed to the request as a tribute to the couple.
The shuttle is mounted to the top of NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a 747.
The aircraft is expected to fly over White Sands Missile Range and Las Cruces, N.M., at a low altitude and slow speed before leaving the area at 11:30 a.m. Thursday Tucson time.
According to NASA, the aircraft ferrying the shuttle drops to an altitude of about 1,500 feet when it performs its low-level flyovers during this final trip.
It is heading to the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, according to NASA.
The retired shuttle has embarked on a cross-country farewell tour that began Wednesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
On Friday, the shuttle will be flown from Edwards AFB to the Los Angeles International Airport. In October, the Endeavour will move to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be on display.
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NASA Invites Californians to Participate in Endeavour Flyover
Fri, 21 Sep 2012 02:04:20 AM GMT+0200
NASA invites Californians to participate in space shuttle Endeavour's historic flyover of the state Friday, Sept. 21. 
The orbiter, atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), is scheduled to fly over northern California and a large area of the Los Angeles basin beginning at about 8:15 a.m. PDT, one hour later than originally planned. NASA, the California Science Center, and the Federal Aviation Administration delayed the start of the flight to increase the probability that fog over the San Francisco area will dissipate before the flyover. 
At 8 a.m. PDT, NASA Television will air the departure of Endeavour from Edwards Air Force Base as it begins its California flyover: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
The SCA and Endeavour will salute NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Edwards Air Force Base area after takeoff with a low flyby northbound to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. 
Any time after 9:30 a.m. PDT, watch for Endeavour from viewing locations that include the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Chabot Space and Science Center, the California State Capitol, Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science and Monterey Bay Aquarium. 
Next the aircraft will travel south, making a pass over NASA's Ames Research Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base before heading into the Los Angeles area. 
Any time after 11:30 a.m., watch for flyovers of Endeavour passing landmarks such as the California Science Center, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Disneyland, The Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles City Hall, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Malibu Beach, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Queen Mary, Universal Studios and Venice Beach. Endeavour will land about 12:45 p.m., at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) . 
Quelle:NASA
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Update: 22.09.2012
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Freitag, 21. September 2012 - 22:16 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity-News Sol 44+45

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President's Signature On Board Curiosity

This view of Curiosity's deck shows a plaque bearing several signatures of US officials, including that of President Obama and Vice President Biden. The image was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the rover's 44th Martian day, or sol, on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). The plaque is located on the front left side of the rover's deck.

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Curiosity's Stars and Stripes

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). The flag is one of four "mobility logos" placed on the rover's mobility rocker arms.

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This image was taken by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 44 (2012-09-20 08:14:32 UTC) .

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This image was taken by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 45 (2012-09-21 09:45:50 UTC) .

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This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 44 (2012-09-20 10:14:29 UTC) .

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

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Freitag, 21. September 2012 - 09:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Space-X-Dragon vor ersten NASA-Transport-Auftrag

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NASA managers, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) officials and international partner representatives Thursday announced Sunday, Oct. 7, as the target launch date for the first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract. 
International Space Station Program managers confirmed the status and readiness of the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon cargo spacecraft for the SpaceX CRS-1 mission, as well as the space station's readiness to receive Dragon. 
Launch is scheduled for 8:34 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. A back up launch opportunity is available on Oct. 8.
Media accreditation to view the launch now is open. International media without U.S. citizenship must apply for credentials to cover the prelaunch and launch activities by Wednesday, Sept 26. For U.S. media, the deadline to apply is Wednesday, Oct. 3. 
Questions about accreditation may be directed to the Public Affairs Office at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 321-867-2468. All media accreditation requests must be submitted online at: 
The launch of the Dragon spacecraft will be the first of 12 contracted flights by SpaceX to resupply the space station and marks the second trip by a Dragon to the station, following a successful demonstration mission in May. SpaceX services under the CRS contract will restore an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to the orbiting laboratory -- a feat not achievable since the retirement of the space shuttle. 
The Dragon will be filled with about 1,000 pounds of supplies. This includes critical materials to support the 166 investigations planned for the station's Expedition 33 crew, including 63 new investigations. The Dragon will return about 734 pounds of scientific materials, including results from human research, biotechnology, materials and educational experiments, as well as about 504 pounds of space station hardware.
Materials being launched on Dragon will support experiments in plant cell biology, human biotechnology and various materials technology demonstrations, among others. One experiment, called Micro 6, will examine the effects of microgravity on the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans, which is present on all humans. Another experiment, called Resist Tubule, will evaluate how microgravity affects the growth of cell walls in a plant called Arabidopsis. About 50 percent of the energy expended by terrestrial-bound plants is dedicated to structural support to overcome gravity. Understanding how the genes that control this energy expenditure operate in microgravity could have implications for future genetically modified plants and food supply. Both Micro 6 and Resist Tubule will return with the Dragon at the end of its mission.
Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA and Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will use a robot arm to grapple the Dragon following its rendezvous with the station on Wednesday, Oct. 10. They will attach the Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module for a few weeks while crew members unload cargo and load experiment samples for return to Earth. 
Dragon is scheduled to return in late October for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California.
While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop commercial spaceflight capabilities, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion will expand human presence beyond low Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.
Quelle: NASA

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Donnerstag, 20. September 2012 - 23:15 Uhr

Astronomie - Astro-Fotografie der Superlative

Nichts kann ein anderes Staunen hervorrufen als diese Aufnahmen welche auf ein Video gebannt wurden und genau 5.55 Minuten dauert. Dauert ist in diesem Fall das falsche Wort, da man beim Anschauen genau 5.55 Minuten von seiner Lebenszeit in eine wunderschöne Zeit verwandelt. Alleine dieses nachfolgende Foto aus Japan welches eine Langzeitaufnahme der Sterne mit dem Flug von Glühwürmchen verbindet soll als Einstieg locken:

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und weiter geht es hier: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19637073, wünsche Euch viel Freude beim Ansehen!


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Donnerstag, 20. September 2012 - 14:01 Uhr

Astronomie - Feuerkugel und Nordlicht über Norwegen aufgenommen

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Autumn Fireball
The biggest fireball I have ever catched on camera, and probably ever will. This was a great photographic moment for me!
This shot was taken tonigh sept20th, an evening wich was full of awesome auroras in magnifcent shapes and colors. This shot was far from the one with the most auroras in from tonight, still a magnificent fireaball, reflected, above my favorite mountain Otertinden, a 90min drive from Tromsø, northern Norway, deserves to go out first. Awesome autumnal colors in the forest and a completely silent river in front.
The fireball lasted for about 6-7seconds until it vanished behind the mountain, by the way this mountain is over 1200meters high, so do not be fooled by the 14mm wide angle lens! There was some very distinguished blue colors surrounding the fireballs edges. Never ever seen anything big like this!
Best,
Ole.C.Salomonsen-
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Donnerstag, 20. September 2012 - 09:00 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity-News Sol 43

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'Jake Matijevic' Contact Target for Curiosity
The drive by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity during the mission's 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. The rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The rover team has assessed it as a suitable target for the first use of Curiosity's contact instruments on a rock. The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of the drive. 
The rock has been named "Jake Matijevic." This commemorates Jacob Matijevic (1947-2012), who was the surface operations systems chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the project's Curiosity rover. He was also a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity. 
Curiosity's contact instruments are on a turret at the end of the rover's arm. They are the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer for reading a target's elemental composition and the Mars Hand Lens Imager for close-up imaging. 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 08:53:50 UTC) . 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 08:56:14 UTC) . 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 08:58:44 UTC) . 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 08:59:19 UTC) . 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 08:59:54 UTC) . 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 09:02:09 UTC) . 
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left A (FHAZ_LEFT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 43 (2012-09-19 08:52:03 UTC) . 
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Fotos:NASA

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Mittwoch, 19. September 2012 - 22:39 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity-News

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Phobos in Transit
Mars has two small, asteroid-sized moons named Phobos and Deimos. From the point of view of the rover, located near the equator of Mars, these moons occasionally pass in front of, or "transit," the disk of the sun. These transit events are the Martian equivalent of partial solar eclipses on Earth because the outline of the moons does not completely cover the sun (in contrast, Earth's moon does block the entire sun during a total solar eclipse). These eclipses, like those on Earth, occur in predictable "seasons" a few times each Mars year. 
As part of a multi-mission campaign, NASA's Curiosity rover is observing these transits, the first of which involved the moon Phobos grazing the sun's disk. The event was observed on Martian day, or sol, 37 (September 13, 2012) using Curiosity's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, equipped with special filters for directly observing the sun. In a series of high-resolution video frames acquired at about three frames per second for about two minutes, the outline of part of Phobos blocked about five percent of the sun. 
This animation shows the transit as viewed by the Mastcam 100-millimiter camera (M-100) in nine frames. Another version of the animation is available, consisting of 20 frames taken by the Mastcam 34-millimeter camera (M-34), which has about one-third the resolution of the M-100. In total, 256 frames were taken by the M-100 and 384 frames for the M-34. 
› Mastcam-34 animation 
The transit was also observed by Curiosity's Rover Environmental Monitoring Stations (REMS) instrument, which saw about a five percent drop in the sun's ultraviolet radiation during the event. 
Mission scientists use these events to very accurately determine the orbital parameters of the Martian moons. Phobos, for example, orbits very close to Mars and is slowly spiraling in to Mars because of tidal forces. These forces change the orbital position of Phobos over time, and accurate measurements of those changes can provide information about the internal structure of that moon and how it dissipates energy. Deimos orbits much farther away and is slowly spiraling out. 
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will also attempt to observe a different set of Phobos and Deimos transits, seen from the other side of the planet, in Meridiani Planum. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Comparing Phobos Views
As part of a multi-mission campaign, NASA's Curiosity rover is observing Martian moon transits, the first of which involved the moon Phobos grazing the sun's disk. The event was observed on Martian day, or sol, 37 (September 13, 2012) using Curiosity's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, equipped with special filters for directly observing the sun. This image layout compares views from the Mastcam 34-millimeter lens (left) and the Mastcam 100-millimeter lens, which is designed to take zoomed-in shots with about three times higher resolution. These images were taken about 18 seconds apart. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Dark Bands Run Through Light Layers
This mosaic from the Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity rover shows a close-up view looking toward the "Glenelg" area, where three different terrain types come together. All three types are observed from orbit with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. By driving there, Curiosity will be able to explore them. 
One of these terrain types is light-toned with well-developed layering, which likely records the deposition of sedimentary materials. There are also black bands that run through the area and might constitute additional layers that alternate with the light-toned layer(s). The black bands are not easily seen from orbit and are on the order of about 3.3-feet (1-meter) thick. Both of these layer types are important science targets. 
This mosaic is composed of images taken with the Mastcam 100-millimeter camera. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS 
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On the Road to Glenelg
This mosaic from the Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity rover shows the view looking toward the "Glenelg" area, where three different terrain types come together. All three types are observed from orbit with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. By driving there, Curiosity will be able to explore them. 
One of the three terrain types is light-toned with well-developed layering, which likely records deposits of sedimentary materials. There are also black bands that run through the area and might constitute additional layers that alternate with the light-toned layers. The black bands are not easily seen from orbit and are on the order of about 3.3-feet (1-meter) thick. Both of these layer types are important science targets. 
This mosaic is composed of seven images. The Mastcam 34-millimeter camera took a series of four images; embedded within that series is a second set of three images taken with the Mastcam 100-millimeter camera. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS 
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'Jake Matijevic' Contact Target for Curiosity
The drive by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity during the mission's 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. The rock is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide. The rover team has assessed it as a suitable target for the first use of Curiosity's contact instruments on a rock. The image was taken by the left Navigation camera (Navcam) at the end of the drive. 
The rock has been named "Jake Matijevic." This commemorates Jacob Matijevic (1947-2012), who was the surface operations systems chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the project's Curiosity rover. He was also a leading engineer for all of the previous NASA Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity. 
Curiosity's contact instruments are on a turret at the end of the rover's arm. They are the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer for reading a target's elemental composition and the Mars Hand Lens Imager for close-up imaging. 
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Sol-39-Aufnahme von Curiosity
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Curiosity Traverse Map Through Sol 43
This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 43rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). 
The route starts where the rover touched down, a site subsequently named Bradbury Landing. The line extending toward the right (eastward) from Bradbury Landing is the rover's path. Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the distance driven each sol. North is up. The scale bar is 200 meters (656 feet). 
By Sol 43, Curiosity had driven at total of about 950 feet (290 meters). The Glenelg area farther east is the mission's first major science destination, selected as likely to offer a good target for Curiosity's first analysis of powder collected by drilling into a rock. 
The image used for the map is from an observation of the landing site by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. 

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