SEE IT: NASA’s Curiosity rover takes Mars selfie


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) launched a surprising “selfie” taken by the Curiosity Mars rover on Tuesday. 

In a tweet, the Curiosity group defined the picture was captured close to the spectacular rock formation named “Mont Mercou” after a mountain in France’s southern area.

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“Want you had been right here! This selfie was taken in entrance of ‘Mont Mercou,’ a rock formation that’s 20ft (6m) tall,” JPL posted, “It is made up of 60 photographs from my MAHLI digital camera and 11 photographs from my Mastcam. Look shut sufficient to identify a brand new drill gap – my thirtieth pattern up to now.”

The selfie, taken earlier within the month, was posted alongside a further pair of three-dimensional and panoramic pictures of the Martian panorama. 

In a caption accompanying the picture, JPL defined that Curiosity had stitched collectively completely different photographs to create the selfie in entrance of the 20-foot-tall rock outcrop. 

“The panorama is made up of 60 photographs taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the rover’s robotic arm on March 26, 2021, the 3070th Martian day, or sol, of the mission,” they wrote. “These had been mixed with 11 photographs taken by the Mastcam on the mast, or ‘head,’ of the rover on March 16, 2021, the three,060th Martian day of the mission.”

The panorama is made up of 60 photographs from the MAHLI digital camera on the rover’s robotic arm together with 11 photographs from the Mastcam on the mast, or “head,” of the rover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

Curiosity landed on Mars’ floor on Aug. 6, 2012, at 1:32 a.m. ET.

Seen to the left of the rover is a gap the place its robotic drill sampled a rock named by the scientists as “Nontron” — a village in southeastern France.

Nontron-related nicknames had been chosen as a result of Mars orbiters detected nontronite, a kind of clay mineral, within the area.

In a Tuesday information launch from JPL, researchers defined that Curiosity’s drill had “powderized” the Nontron pattern earlier than “trickling it into devices contained in the rover.”

The method was mandatory to ensure that their science group to raised perceive the rock’s composition and historical past.

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“This space is on the transition between the ‘clay-bearing unit’ Curiosity is departing and the ‘sulfate-bearing unit’ that’s forward on Mount Sharp, the 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain that the rover has been rolling up since 2014,” they wrote.

“Scientists have lengthy thought this transition may reveal what occurred to Mars because it turned the desert planet we see right now,” added JPL.

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