Mars Rock Named For Duluth

Meet Duluth, a desk-sized chunk of rock once lapped by the waves of an ancient Martian lake. Roger Wiens, 58, the project leader for the ChemCam instrument on the Mars Curiosity rover and Duluth, Minnesota native, couldn’t be happier to see his home town chosen as the name of the 3.5 billion-year-old slab of sedimentary…
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InSight Mission Blasts Off To Mars / Chance For Weekend Auroras

We’re headed back to Mars! NASA’s Mars InSight mission lifted off at 6:05 a.m. (Central Time) this morning from the West Coast en route to the Red Planet. After a 6½ month journey, it will arrive and set up camp on Nov. 26. The landing site is Elysium Planitia, a broad, smooth plain just north…
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Moon, Mars, Saturn Come Together At Dawn

Although Mars and Saturn have parted, they’re still within earshot of each other, separated by less than 3° tomorrow morning (April 7). At the same time, the last quarter moon joins the scene, passing just 1° north of Saturn to make a bright threesome. Saturn’s rings are in full tilt and show clearly in a…
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Two Eggs In A Basket — Mars And Saturn Double Up At Dawn

While we’ve all been waiting for China’s space station to fall, Mars has been sneaking up on Saturn. Have you early-risers noticed this? The two bright planets huddled in the cold dawn just 1.3° apart this morning. Even bright moonlight couldn’t compromise the striking sight. Tomorrow (April 2) they’ll be closest at 1.2° shining together…
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Curiosity Celebrates 2000 Days On Mars

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover just hit a new milestone: its 2000th Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet. With its ice caps, dust storms, glaciers and ancient riverbeds, Mars is like Earth in so many ways. As well, the two planets have nearly identical day lengths and axial tilts (23.5° for Earth, 25° for…
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