Curiosity rover looks into the night sky on Mars and spots Earth and the Moon. 

Is it weird that this makes me feel sympathetic homesickness for a robot? 


Left Navcam, Sol 494 — navcam pointed down at wheel in motion


Left Navcam, Sol 494 — navcam pointed down at wheel in motion

There are 7 billion people on Earth, which is roughly 2^33. Thinking about this number like a computer scientist, only 33 bits (a series of 33 digits, made of 1s and 0s) could uniquely identify each person.

What if we could engineer a series of 33 yes or no questions, and take the answers down as ones and zeros — we could generate a unique code for each person on the planet.

The problem then becomes choosing questions that evenly divide the population 50/50 each time, with (ideally) no “maybes”. Can you think of a question that divides the world in half? 


  1. Are you male?
  2. Do you live in China, India, The United States, Indonesia, Brazil or Pakistan?
  3. …?

Here’s what Curiosity was doing on Mars while you were eating breakfast this morning, just in case you forgot she’s still cruising over the surface of Mars, doing science while you’re on Tumblr.

Also, it’s sunny today at Gale Crater, Mars. 


A reminder that there is an image of the sunset seen from Mars.

Take a moment to realize that this is the result of a robotic motor vehicle travelling millions of kilometres of space, successfully landing on the surface of another planet and communicating with Earth from there.

Captured by NASA’s Spirit rover in 2006.


Some selfies are more thought-provoking than others. Amazing what you can see in the reflection.

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like to ride the Shuttle up to space from the outside? Wonder no more. 

Comet ISON approaches.

Mars Hand Lens Imager, Sol 323


Mars Hand Lens Imager, Sol 323

A massive Saturnian hurricane looms over the North Pole this Saturnian spring. 

Yesterday’s solar flare has been predicted by some meteorologists at Accuweather to cause low-latitude aurora today, but take a look at the professional, less optimistic predictions at before you buy into the rumors.

Watch the Curiosity Rover’s landing parachute flap in the wind on the surface of Mars.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was positioned behind Saturn, looking towards the sun, when it took this photograph through the backlit rings. That little bright group of pixels in the upper right quarter of the big image is the Earth, zoomed in in the inset in the upper left. That little bump on the Earth is the Moon.

The famous Voyager 1 “Family Portrait:” all of the planets in our Solar System on Feb. 14, 1990, seen from the perspective of a spacecraft leaving the system.