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A red cent on the red planet: the story of a semi-rare 1909 coin on Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), aka the Curiosity Rover is something of a robotic geologist, so it makes sense to include the tools of the trade in some form, including a calibration target. For giving a sense of scale with smaller geologic features, pennies are often used for scale, as a common item with a standard dimension. But why is there a 1909 penny on the Rover? That's thanks to Kenneth Edgett, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) principal investigator and an amateur coin collector who appreciates the history of the controversial 1909 V.D.B. Lincoln Cent.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 14, 2014 - 3 comments

Curiosity's First Anniversary

Twelve Months in Two Minutes; Curiosity's First Year on Mars. Happy First Anniversary, Curiosity! [Previously]
posted by homunculus on Aug 6, 2013 - 25 comments

What's In The Box?

The secret at the centre of Peter Molyneux's iOS game, Curiosity, has been revealed. The winner, Scotland's Bryan Henderson, will be 'God' over Molyneux's next game, Godus. Peter Molyneux explained that "You, the person who reached the center, will be the God of all people that are playing Godus. You will intrinsically decide on the rules that the game is played on. "You will share in the success of the product. Every time people spend money on Godus, you will get a small piece of that pie."
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 26, 2013 - 40 comments

Where is life?

There once were two planets, new to the galaxy and inexperienced in life. Like fraternal twins, they were born at the same time, and took roughly the same shape.
posted by lite on Apr 15, 2013 - 15 comments

Just digging around on Mars, looking for stuff...

That rover the United States sent to Mars found something. It won't blow your mind, but it's interesting if you're into Mars geology.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 3, 2012 - 58 comments

No, not the rover...

"Curiosity – what’s inside the cube" is the first experiment out of Peter Molyneux-headed game studio 22cans. "Something amazing is hidden in the cube but only one player will be fortunate to discover what it is." You can get crackin' at the cube for free from the iTunes App store or Google Play. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on Nov 7, 2012 - 85 comments

A Literally Other-Worldly Self-Portrait

Amateur astronomer Stuart Atkinson painstakingly stitched together 55 photos to create this stunning self-portrait of Curiosity sitting on Mars. (Click the picture for the full-size 5400 pixel-wide masterpiece.)
posted by hippybear on Nov 3, 2012 - 113 comments

Ancient stream bed on Mars

Curiosity has been on Mars for 51 sol-days and today NASA announced it has found what looks like a concrete slab made up of rounded stones which is probably an ancient stream bed formed by hip-deep fast-moving water over thousands or millions of years. Observers have long hypothesized the canyons and river-like beds photographed from space were carved by water, but only now do researchers have on-the-ground confirmation for the first time.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 29, 2012 - 71 comments

A wristwatch for NASA's curiosity team.

A wristwatch for NASA's curiosity team. What do you do when you are supposed to show up for work 39 minutes later than you did the previous day? You commission a special wristwatch to keep you on time.
posted by fieldcannotbeblank on Sep 16, 2012 - 44 comments

Curiosity's descent is our ascent

Take the ride down to the surface of Mars in full 1080p glory. [YouTube]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 22, 2012 - 98 comments

Out of all the rocks on Mars

The Curiosity rover is preparing to use its rock vaporizing laser for the first time, on a rock labelled as N165. Rock N165 has a twitter account. People are chatting to it.
posted by memebake on Aug 19, 2012 - 99 comments

Curiouser and curiouser

NASA commentary on Curiosity landing has just started, landing itself is expected two hours later, at 5:31 am UTC/10:31 pm PDT. [more inside]
posted by egor83 on Aug 5, 2012 - 1193 comments

Oh man look at those cavemen go

Coming soon to a red planet near you, it's the Mars Science Laboratory! On Monday, August 6 at 05:31 UTC (other times around the world), NASA's Curiosity rover is expected to land on Mars in search of conditions suited to past or present Martian life. Live coverage begins on NASA TV at 03:30 UTC. But this mission has been years in the making, so if you have a little catching up to do... [more inside]
posted by ddbeck on Aug 4, 2012 - 139 comments

Prime Martian-Science Real Estate

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA has narrowed the target for its most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, which will land on the Red Planet in August. The car-sized rover will arrive closer to its ultimate destination for science operations, but also closer to the foot of a mountain slope that poses a landing hazard. "We're trimming the distance we'll have to drive after landing by almost half," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "That could get us to the mountain months earlier." It was possible to adjust landing plans because of increased confidence in precision landing technology aboard the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, which is carrying the Curiosity rover.
posted by mhoye on Jun 13, 2012 - 38 comments

"How will this person prove it?"

In a few weeks, Peter Molyneux (Fable, Black & White) will launch the first of 22 gaming/social media experiments. Curiosity will have one winner, with DLC available for up to £50,000.
posted by yellowbinder on Jun 7, 2012 - 30 comments

Beauty, Curiosity, Feynman

How do you promote a passion for scientific literacy? Create a video series with lectures from Feynman or Carl Sagan and then add incredible video. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on Dec 29, 2011 - 9 comments

Best Of 2011: Space and Astronomy

Timelapse of the Year: an awe-inspiring trailer for the movie TimeScapes by Tom Lowe (full 4K version on YouTube/MP4 direct link). (Previously)
Rover Newcomer: Where In The Solar System is Curiosity?
Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The Top 24 Deep Space Pictures of 2011Top 14 Solar System PhotosTop 16 Space Photos.  (Images of a million-light-year long collision of galaxy clusters and a “stellar snow angel” didn’t make the cut, but should have).
Discovery of the Year: Opportunity uncovers conclusive proof that water flowed on Mars.
Astronomy Animation of the year: a zoom to the center of the Milky Way, and the supermassive black hole that is feeding there.
Lifetime Achievement: The Known Universe, a stunning three-minute zoom from the peak of the Himalayas to the edge of the cosmos, finally available in HD. (Previously).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 15, 2011 - 6 comments

Mars or bust!

Curiosity launched today and is on its way to Mars!
posted by Tom-B on Nov 26, 2011 - 60 comments

Send Your Name For Great Victory Against The Red Planet

Scheduled for November 25th, the Mars Science Laboratory - Curiosity Rover will launch on an 8.5 month journey to Mars. Upon arrival, it will plummet through the atmosphere in a flying-saucer-like aeroshell and execute a most unusual landing via skycrane. Curiosity carries a dizzying array of cameras and sensors, but more importantly a high powered laser to teach Mars who is boss, and oh, maybe your name if you let it.
posted by pashdown on Apr 6, 2011 - 21 comments

Very Nearly ADD

I Always Wondered. A light-hearted outlet for curiosity.
posted by netbros on Apr 1, 2011 - 9 comments

Some Real, Some Genuine Fakes

THE MONSTER MUMMIES OF OLD JAPAN!
posted by The Whelk on Dec 28, 2009 - 22 comments

Atlas Obscura

Karl Junker House is just one of the locations on Atlas Obscura from Curious Expeditions. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Jun 10, 2009 - 6 comments

It's the next day!

A grand allegorical account of the past four decades of human history - or something, is of interest mostly to those of us over forty, but anybody can use the help of The Amazing Dostoevsky machine (new and improved!), to get through Crime and Punishment. Great literature not your thing? Try one woman's elusive search for a marketable, filthy domain name, or check how long you've been on this planet. I'm up to 20284, and counting ...

It's all part of the quirky (insane?) Bonkworld. There's bound to be something here to "feast your sense organs"
posted by woodblock100 on May 23, 2007 - 5 comments

I sing the songs that make the whole world sing

Come Together, right now, over me. A Ukranian inventor has created a musical condom. Golly, think of the possibilities!
posted by ashbury on Feb 21, 2005 - 13 comments

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