Panorama of the Pacific Northwest

Panorama of the Pacific Northwest

This panoramic photograph shows the snow-covered Cascade Range of the U.S. northwest in the foreground gives way to the Rocky Mountains and Coast Mountains in Canada, with Vancouver Island just offshore. Several active volcanoes—Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Hood—dot the Cascades. To view more about this beautiful photo taken by astronauts on-board the International Space Station, see

Field Work in Hawaii

Earlier this month, a team of scientists from @RIS4E_SSERVI in addition to @NASA_ARES scientists and a NASA astronaut were out in the field in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  They were conducting a geologic field study documenting information to help understand variables explorers might be confronted with when exploring a new planetary environment. Check out the article that was published on the Earth Observatory’s image of the day website that provides additional detail about the #CrewEarthObs image of Kilauea shown here (top image) and the group’s field work on the 1974 flow (bottom images).  The article is available at:


Curiosity at Marias Pass

Steep and slippery slopes kept Curiosity from driving through Logan Pass and investigating a contact between two geologic units, but Curiosity found an alternate path. The rover took a slightly more southern route and is currently at Marias Pass (pronounced muh-RYE-ess) investigating the contact between the same two units. The bottom unit is similar to the rocks studied at the Pahrump Hills (the light-toned rocks at the very bottom of the large image) and the top unit is a bedded sandstone. The bedded sandstone contains larger, white grains in the matrix (some are circled in red, and you can see more images taken by MAHLI on Sol 998 here:…). The sandstone also contains white veins similar to what Curiosity has seen in many other rocks during the mission. Mars is currently in solar conjunction, where the sun is between Earth and Mars. This occurs about every 26 months and disrupts communication between Earth and Curiosity (and all other missions on Mars). Curiosity will continue science operations after conjunction at the end of June.MSL_MariasPass

Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Certification Workshop

Summer vacation for many teachers is a great time for professional development. This @NASA_ARES Lunar and Meteorite Disk Certification workshop in Houston provided an enthusiastic group of teachers with a day full of hands-on activities and experience with our NASA lunar and meteorite sample disks. These teachers can now share these special NASA assets with their classrooms, bringing solar system exploration to a whole new level for their students.

To learn more about the Lunar and Meteorite Disk program visit: DiskCertificationWorkshop