NASA's Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture a set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait. The mosaic shows the rover at "Rocknest," the spot in Gale Crater where the mission's first scoop sampling took place. Four scoop scars can be seen in the regolith in front of the rover.
The base of Gale Crater's three-mile-high sedimentary mountain, Mount Sharp, rises on the right side of the frame. Mountains in the background to the left are the northern wall of Gale Crater. The Martian landscape appears inverted within the round, reflective ChemCam instrument at the top of the rover's mast.
Self-portraits like this one document the state of the rover and allow mission engineers to track changes over time, such as dust accumulation and wheel wear. Due to its location on the end of the robotic arm, only MAHLI (among the rover's 17 cameras) is able to image some parts of the craft, including the port-side wheels.
This high-resolution mosaic is a more detailed version of the low-resolution version created with thumbnail images, at PIA16238.
JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
For those with a computer and an interest in something "out of this world," check-out calsky.org. At that site, you can find information about happenings "Out there!"
Call the Martz Observatory at (716) 569-3689 or email email@example.com to schedule a visit. Martz Observatory is normally attended Wednesday evenings after 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The observatory is located at 176 Robin Hill Rd., Frewsburg, N.Y. For more information about the Martz Observatory, visit the website, www.martzobservatory.org. Have a stellar day! Martz Minute submitted by: Garry E. Campbell, Russell, member, MMMAA
Credit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with a self-portrait of the Mars rover, Curiosity: "High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera"