Thursday, January 31, 2013

Curiosity on Sol 157

This HiRISE observation was performed in conjunction with a CRISM observation so that they could get good spectral data on the scour zone created by the MSL descent rockets.

Our higher resolution HiRISE image will allow the CRISM team to compare their data with ours. The scour zone is where MSL touched down. The pair of bright white spots in the HiRISE image show the area immediately below where sky crane's rockets were pointed. Those areas were "blasted clean" and therefore show brightest. The larger dark scour zone is dark because the fine dust has been blown away from the area leaving darker materials.

However, we also captured Curiosity on its 157th Sol as it was exploring Yellowknife Bay and about to drill its first rock.

This is the first time that we've captured the rover tracks in color, and they show up as a pair of dark lines moving across the landscape.

Note: the above image is non map-projected, so approximate north is down.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

No comments: