Last Updated on April 1, 2021 by Solar System Ambassador Pam Roller
Here’s an update from our Solar System Ambassador Pam Roller:
At the start of March, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover began approaching an impressive rock formation that scientists dubbed “Mont Mercou,” a nickname taken from a mountain in France. Standing about 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the outcrop is captured in all its majesty in a new selfie, as well as in a pair of panoramas that offer a 3D view. The selfie shows Curiosity in front of Mont Mercou with a new drill hole nearby at a rock sample nicknamed “Nontron” – the mission’s 30th sample to date.
The selfie is composed of 60 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the rover’s robotic arm on March 26, 2021, the 3,070th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. These were combined with 11 images taken by the Mastcam on the mast, or “head,” of the rover on March 16, 2021, the 3,060th Martian day of the mission.
Nearest Exoplanet to Our Solar System
Click the link below to see an artist’s concept is of a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting the nearby star Epsilon Eridani. The planet is in an elliptical orbit that carries it as close to the star as Earth is from the Sun, and as far from the star as Jupiter is from the Sun.
The link provides additional interesting information about the exoplanet and the star Epsilon Eridani.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)