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October 29, 2012 - Look Out Below!

Look Out Below! One of the most notable instruments aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), a half-meter (twenty-inch) telescope attached to a high-resolution camera. HiRISE has glimpsed twirling dust devils, monitored the movement of Martian polar ice caps, and kept tabs on spacecraft from Earth exploring the Red Planet. This HiRISE image shows an area of dust-covered sand dunes in the far north of Mars. Frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) covering the dunes sublimates (turns directly to gas) in the warm Martian spring. This sublimation dislodges the dust and the underlying darker sand, which slides downhill in an avalanche. To the lower-left of center, HiRISE captured a landslide that just occurred, complete with the pink dust cloud it raised.

Image credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

Weekly Calendar

October 29 - November 4, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 29

Full Moon 3:49 PM ET

1964: First flight of Lunar Landing Research Vehicle
1987: Cosmos 1894 becomes 2,000th satellite
1991: Galileo flies past Gaspra
1998: STS-95 Discovery launched

Moon phase Tuesday 30

1981: Venera 13 launched
1985: STS-61A Challenger launched
1997: First successful Ariane 5 rocket launched

Moon phase Wednesday 31

Halloween

Ceres appears stationary

2005: Hubble Space Telescope discovers two new moons orbiting Pluto
2006: NASA announces SM4, the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission

Moon phase Thursday 1

Moon at apogee
Jupiter 0.9° north of Moon

1962: Mars 1 launched
1999: Area Code 321 goes into effect for areas near Kennedy Space Center

Moon phase Friday 2

1885: Harlow Shapley born
1917: First light for Mount Wilson Observatory 100-inch Hooker telescope

Moon phase Saturday 3

Taurid meteor shower

1957: Sputnik 2 carries dog Laika, first living creature to orbit Earth
1966: Test flight of Manned Orbital Laboratory components
1973: Mariner 10 launched
1994: STS-66 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Sunday 4

Daylight Savings Time ends 2:00 AM

Taurid meteor shower

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