Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Rover at Rocknest on Mars
Posted on 12/27/2012 3:21:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: What's in this smooth soil on Mars? In late October, NASA's robotic Curiosity rover stopped near a place dubbed Rocknest as it continues to explore Gale Crater on Mars. Rocknest is the group of stones seen near the top left of the above image -- just to the left of Curiosity's mast. Of particular interest was the unusually smooth patch of soil named Wind Drift seen to the left of Curiosity, which was likely created by the Martian wind blowing fine particles into Rocknest's wake. The above image shows part of Mt. Sharp in the background to upper right, and, oddly, almost the entire rover itself, digitally reconstructed from 55 frames while digitally removing an extended arm. Curiosity scooped several sand samples from Wind Drift into its Chemistry and Mineralogy Experiment (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory for a detailed analysis. Preliminary data from the soil indicates a small amount of one-carbon organic material the origin of which it presently unknown. Although the organic signal might be just contaminants from Earth, the exciting possibility that it could be from Mars itself will remain a focus of future exploration and research.
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Best of APOD 2012:
Cool photo. Except I’m wondering HOW they took that photo. At first I figured it has a long sampling “arm” or something with a camera - but there doesn’t appear to be anything extending from the rover.
Hard to believe that they could re-do the old Hollywood movie set of the moon “landings” to look like Mars! ;)
In answer to your observation regarding an arm. .from the snippet:
“reconstructed from 55 frames while digitally removing an extended arm.”
I noticed the arm was missing, too, but then I read the paragraph.
The “self portrait” info from the web (they don’t say, but I guess they must have edited out the arm):
On Sol 84 (Oct. 31, 2012), NASA’s Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture this set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait.
The mosaic shows the rover at “Rocknest,” the spot in Gale Crater where the mission’s first scoop sampling took place. Four scoop scars can be seen in the regolith in front of the rover....
Self-portraits like this one document the state of the rover and allow mission engineers to track changes over time, such as dust accumulation and wheel wear. Due to its location on the end of the robotic arm, only MAHLI (among the rover’s 17 cameras) is able to image some parts of the craft, including the port-side wheels.
Your right, how was this done?
Jeez - now I’m supposed to read EVERY sentence of a post?! And I thought I was doing so much better by at least skimming them instead of just looking at the headlines!
Funny though. 30 years ago I would have found it amazing that you could splice all those photos together so well, and edit out the arm. Much less photos from Mars!
What else did they digitally remove?
So where in Utah was that taken ? :-P
I seriously want to know what took the picture as it doesn’t look like the camera is attached to the rover.
“Hi! Welcome to Marsworld. I’ll just take a quick photo of you. Here’s your number. You can pick up your photo on the way out of the park. Have a Marsworld day!”
So, if it’s sand, why is it compacted between the treads of the tires? In all my earthly experience, I’ve learned only wet dirt/sand does that.
> In all my earthly experience...
Need I really say more? :’)
Somewhere near the final resting place of Joe Hill.
If I knew how to edit photos, I’d insert the Wookie, Moochell, in the photo.
Wow, what a machine! Still got a lot of tread on the tires!
Those footprints to the left might have something to do with it.
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