Home / Technology / Curiosity Snaps New Mars Selfie Before Setting Course for New Location

Curiosity Snaps New Mars Selfie Before Setting Course for New Location

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.

The Curiosity rover has already made history after covering the most ground on another planet and helping scientists reconstruct the geological history of Mars. While it’s moved more than 12 miles (almost 20 kilometers), Curiosity has been hanging around the Vera Rubin Ridge for over a year. It’s getting ready to move out, but NASA took the time to snap a selfie first.

Curiosity’s new selfie shows the rover sitting on the rust-colored terrain, looking at the camera with its “head.” What we commonly think of as the rover’s head is actually a housing for the Mastcam and ChemCam instruments. The haze on the horizon is thanks to a local dust storm — nothing as severe as the global event that probably doomed the Opportunity rover last year. NASA took the selfie on January 15th, but this is actually a composite of many images like all of Curiosity’s selfies.

The image shows Curiosity still looking rather good after more than six years on the red planet. It’s a bit dusty, and you can see damage on its wheels from the unexpectedly sharp Martian rocks. Still, NASA expects Curiosity to keep on trucking for years to come.

NASA uses the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to take these photos. It captures true color images at a resolution of 1600 x 1200. The image released by NASA is much larger than that because it’s stitched together from 57 different frames. That’s why the final image has such amazing detail, and you can’t see the MAHLI arm anywhere. NASA just uses all the frames to crop the arm out, making it look like someone stood next to the rover and took a picture.

Curiosity self-portrait, compiled from 55 MAHLI images. Rocknest on the left, Mount Sharp on the rigth.

Look how clean Curiosity was back in 2012.

Vera Rubin Ridge was Curiosity’s 19th drill site on Mars. You can see the tiny “Rock Hall” drill hole directly in front of the rover. Now, the rover is taking its drill to a “clay-bearing unit” located south of the ridge. Clay minerals may contain clues to help us learn more about the ancient lakes that once covered the land around Mount Sharp.

You can see a larger version of the new Curiosity selfie here, and you can grab the full-resolution version on NASA’s site. It’s 23 MB and about 10,000 pixels square. You should be able to crop it down to whatever size you want, but NASA also has some pre-cropped wallpaper downloads in common resolutions.

Now read:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ExtremeTechExtremeTech

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

15 + seven =

Read previous post:
Nvidia Stock Smashed on Weak Earnings, Turing Woes

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Nvidia’s stock was hammered today...

Close