Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mars looks so much like Arizonia...

NASA’s Curiosity rover shot its first color picture using one of its 17 cameras, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).

The view shows the rim of Gale crater, where Curiosity safely landed on Sunday, looking north. The photo looks moody and atmospheric because of high levels of dust coating MAHLI’s dust cover during the rover’s descent. Once that cover is opened in about a week, the camera’s picture quality will dramatically improve.

MAHLI is currently stowed over the body of the rover but will soon be extended outward to get a closer peek at the rocks and soil surrounding Curiosity. It will then be able to image details down to a few microns, or smaller than the width of a human hair.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

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