Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2018 June 16
Explanation: It's storm season on Mars. Dusty with a chance of dust is the weather report for Gale crater as a recent planet-scale dust storm rages. On June 10 looking toward the east-northeast crater rim about 30 kilometers away, the Curiosity rover's Mastcam captured this image of its local conditions so far. Meanwhile over 2,000 kilometers away, the Opportunity rover ceased science operations as the storm grew thicker at its location on the west rim of Endeavour crater, and has stopped communicating, waiting out the storm for now. Curiosity is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, but the smaller Opportunity rover uses solar panels to charge its batteries. For Opportunity, the increasingly severe lack of sunlight has caused its batteries to run low.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.