Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2013 February 22
Explanation: This remarkable self-portrait of NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover includes a sweeping panoramic view of its current location in the Yellowknife Bay region of the Red Planet's Gale Crater. The rover's flat, rocky perch, known as "John Klein", served as the site for Curiosity's first rock drilling activity. At the foot of the proud looking rover, a shallow drill test hole and a sample collection hole are 1.6 centimetres in diameter. The impressive mosaic was constructed using frames from the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Mastcam. Used to take in the panoramic landscape frames, the Mastcam is standing high above the rover's deck. But MAHLI, intended for close-up work, is mounted at the end of the rover's robotic arm. The MAHLI frames used to create Curiosity's self-portrait exclude sections that show the arm itself and so MAHLI and the robotic arm are not seen. Check out this spectacular interactive version of Curiosity's self-portrait panorama.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.