NASA’s Curiosity Rover Picture Postcard From Mars
Science & Technology

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Sends a Beautiful Picture Postcard From Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its navigation cameras to seize panoramas of this scene. Blue, orange, and inexperienced coloration was added to a mixture of the panoramas for an inventive interpretation of the scene. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An inventive interpretation of Curiosity’s view excessive up on a Martian mountain was created by mission staff members who had been surprised by the sweeping panorama.

NASA’s Curiosity rover captured a exceptional picture from its most up-to-date perch on the facet of Mars’ Mount Sharp. The mission staff was so impressed by the fantastic thing about the panorama, they mixed two variations of the black-and-white pictures from totally different occasions of the day and added colours to create a uncommon postcard from the Pink Planet.

Curiosity captures a 360-degree view of its environment with its black-and-white navigation cameras every time it completes a drive. To make the ensuing panorama simpler to ship to Earth, the rover retains it in a compressed, low-quality format. However when the rover staff noticed the view from Curiosity’s most up-to-date stopping level, the scene was simply too fairly to not seize it within the highest high quality that the navigation cameras are able to.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its black-and-white navigation cameras to seize panoramas of this scene at two occasions of day. This was the view at 4:10 p.m. native Mars time. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Lots of the rover’s most beautiful panoramas are from the colour Mastcam instrument, which has far larger decision than the navigation cameras. That’s why the staff added colours of their very own to this newest picture. The blue, orange, and inexperienced tints will not be what the human eye would see; as an alternative, they symbolize the scene as considered at totally different occasions of day.

On November 16, 2021 (the three,299th Martian day, or sol, of the mission), engineers commanded Curiosity to take two units of mosaics, or composite pictures, capturing the scene at 8:30 a.m. and once more at 4:10 p.m. native Mars time. The 2 occasions of day offered contrasting lighting circumstances that introduced out a number of panorama particulars. The staff then mixed the 2 scenes in an inventive re-creation that features parts from the morning scene in blue, the afternoon scene in orange, and a mixture of each in inexperienced.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its black-and-white navigation cameras to seize panoramas of this scene at two occasions of day. This was the view at 8:30 a.m. native Mars time. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On the heart of the picture is the view again down Mount Sharp, the 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain that Curiosity has been driving up since 2014. Rounded hills might be seen within the distance at center-right; Curiosity obtained a nearer view of those again in July, when the rover began to see intriguing changes in the landscape. A subject of sand ripples referred to as the “Sands of Forvie” stretches a quarter- to a half-mile (400 to 800 meters) away.

On the far proper of the panorama is the craggy “Rafael Navarro Mountain,” named after a Curiosity staff scientist who handed away earlier this yr. Poking up behind it’s the higher a part of Mount Sharp, far above the world Curiosity is exploring. Mount Sharp lies inside Gale Crater, a 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) basin fashioned by an historic influence; Gale Crater’s distant rim stands 7,500 toes tall (2.3 kilometers), and is seen on the horizon about 18 to 25 miles away (30 to 40 kilometers).

The Curiosity mission is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California.

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