Cyber Tuesday Spaceprobe Deal

For two days only, buy one of our limited edition Robotic Spacecraft Series Prints and get the full suite of vinyl stickers for free. This is a total savings of $24 and would serve as a great stocking stuffer to follow the presentation of the print.

MOM is at Mars

You know how your Mother will always take the most predictable pictures at the holidays? Well, the Mars Orbiter Mission has done exactly that with it’s recent global image of Mars and it turns out to actually be quite a rare image. Despite so many probes being active at Mars at once, most are too close to the planet to be able to capture a full disc image like this.

It is also the first interplanetary space mission for the Indian Space Research Organization and is really just a technology demonstrator for the group. This makes India only the fourth space agency to reach Mars and quite an accomplishment to do so successfully on it’s first try. To provide context for that statement, here is a list of missions to Mars and all the ones listed in bold (most spectacularly) failed to reach their goals. So Wanderingspace is happy to welcome another active player to the field of planetary exploration.

Kickstarter Project Coming Oct 2

Our new Kickstarter campaign will be live in a few days. Above are a few of the celestial assets illustrated for the animation/video we are producing for the campaign page.

Discover’s Best of Amateur Imagers

Discover online has an article today about some of the best in amateur space imaging. Many of which have been featured here on Wanderingspace before like Gordan Ugarkovic, Emily Lakdawalla and Bjorn Jonsson to name a few. The last item from Bill Dunford of Riding With Robots is an image that he actually suggested NASA point their HiRise cameras at that location. He suspected they might find something interesting there and they did —flash water movement and evidence of avalanches.

Happy Revolution Around the Sun Card

As a fan of space exploration, you will have to love this birthday card from Chop Shop. An overly technical acknowledgment of someone’s birthday by defining exactly what it is. One additional complete orbital period moving around the sun. Even better, they design is beautifully letterpress printed both front and inside.

Above reveals the inside text — which plays it a little more safe with the messaging.

Check Out Kurzgesagt

Especially if you have kids with an appreciation for science. These guys regularly do great animations that explain complex science — appropriate for all ages. They also promise a series of cool videos about cool moons in our solar system. So far they have only covered our own, next up… Mars’ Deimos and Phobos.

Mars Curiosity Parachute Image

So this is not new, but my lack of activity on WS has me missing many great moments. Since I view this site as more of an archive of amazing space imagery… there is no expiration date on any image. Above is Mars Curiosity as it parachutes to the Martian surface as seen from orbit by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Colorization was added by Ian Regan.

And a semi-recent image from Curiosity of Mount Sharp from August 2013.

The Martian Hammer

Occasionally they find things on Mars that I don’t bother posting because they are obviously bits of plastic that fell from descent, or are just shadow tricks. But this one has me and others scratching our collective heads. It really seems to be “growing” from the rock below and is clearly a shiny metallic material. Possibly a dropped Martian hammer?

Read more at The Atlantic.

Long-Overdue WTF Follow Up

Back in 2007 I posted this image of a dark hole on Mars. In late 2011 they took additional images of a similar feature with the HiRISE cameras on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Turns out it is in fact a “sky light” or a hole in the surface to an underground cavern. This one spans 35 meters (115 feet) across and 20 meters (65 feet) deep.

It’s origins are likely due to ancient lava flows that continued underground and eventually were drained to leave behind a cavern. How vast such a system might be is yet unknown.

Mars Curiosity Rover Images Looking Like Paintings

Mars Curiosity’s View on Sol 50 The background hills are not just all… the whole “sky” in the back is actually the Gale crater rim. Wish there was an additional image taken above to stitch together for the full dramatic view.

I have a whole lot of catching up to do with Curiosity. I was locked out of the site for months and only got back in after the landing. So I missed much of the buzz and excitement of the first few days. We got spoiled from the everyday images from Spirit and Opportunity and sometimes the images from Curiosity will often feel like more of the same, but I don’t recall any images from the previous landers looking like a Chesley Bonestell painting.