Curiosity Rover Photographs Diverse Rocks

October 30, 2012

Space

Curiosity image of a rock called Et-Then

The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the arm of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity took this image of a rock called “Et-Then” during the mission’s 82nd sol, or Martian day (October 29, 2012.) The rock’s informal name comes from the name of an island in Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. MAHLI viewed the rock from a distance of about 15.8 inches (40 centimeters). The image covers an area about 9.5 inches by 7 inches (24 centimeters by 18 centimeters). Et-Then is located near the rover’s front left wheel, where the rover has been stationed while scooping soil at the site called “Rocknest.” This is one of three images acquired by MAHLI from slightly different positions so that a three-dimensional information could be used to plan possible future examination of the rock. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues its research on Mars. The latest images were taken by its Mars Hand Lens Imager and show diverse rocks found in the “Rocknest” area.

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity on Sol 82 (October 29, 2012) used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to photograph the diverse rocks in the “Rocknest” area and prepared for an overnight analysis of a soil sample by the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument.

On the preceding sol, the rover completed its third round of using vibration of scooped Martian soil to scrub the interior surfaces of the sample-processing mechanisms on the rover’s arm. Also on Sol 81, the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument completed an analysis of a sample of Martian atmosphere.

The rover continues regular monitoring of the surrounding environment using the other instruments of its science payload.

Sol 82, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 1:35 p.m. October 29, PDT (4:35 p.m., EDT).

Curiosity image of a rock called Burwash

This focus-merge image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the arm of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows a rock called “Burwash.” The rock has a coating of dust on it. The coarser, visible grains are windblown sand. The focus merge combines portions of eight images taken with the camera held in one position while the MAHLI focus mechanism moved for each of the eight exposures to capture features at different distances in focus. The images were taken during the mission’s 82nd sol, or Martian day (October 29, 2012). MAHLI viewed the rock from a distance of about 4.5 inches (11.5 centimeters). The image covers an area about 3 inches by 2.2 inches (7.6 centimeters by 5.7 centimeters). Burwash is located near the rover’s left-front wheel where the rover has been stationed while scooping soil at the site called “Rocknest.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Source: Guy Webster, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; NASA

Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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