We just Received a Selfie Made by Curiosity on Mars


Just recently, NASA has shown us a selfie which was made on Mars by the Curiosity rover. It consists of a 360 degree panoramic image which is composed from multiple photos taken by the camera present on rover’s mast. Taken on the 9th of August, the photograph shows the rover at Vera Rubin Ridge the place where Curiosity had just finished drilling for a rock sample.

We can see in this photo how a thin layer of dust is coating the robot explorer which is due to the summer dust storms that enveloped the red planet. NASA previously reported that two large storms were experienced on Mars, engulfing its northern hemisphere for a week, between the 28th of May and the 3rd of June.

The darkness of the sky captured in the photograph exists because there is still dust present in the atmosphere, according to what NASA said. The previous rover, Opportunity, depended on sunlight to power up. Luckily, Curiosity runs on nuclear power and it is not affected by darkness.

Curiosity arrived on Mars in 2012, on the 6th of August, with the mission to investigate the planet’s conditions for microbial life and if there are clues preserved in rocks about possible past life forms. It boasts the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM for short, which represents a suite of instruments.

By using SAM, Curiosity analyzes the material it collects, being able of identifying a lot of materials which contain carbon, the substance that can indicate life. To understand the planet’s water and atmospheric history, SAM can also help in figuring out different isotope ratios.

Among the first samples collected by Curiosity, NASA found clues that lead to the conclusion that Mars could have provided conditions that supported life.


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