WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- NASA’s JPL released the Curiosity rover’s Mars selfie on Twitter Tuesday.
- The photo is composed of 60 images taken by the camera on the rover’s arm and 11 images taken by the rover’s ‘Mastcam’, stitched together.
- The rover drilled into a rock formation to analyze a “powderized” rock sample for scientists to better understand its composition and history.
The Curiosity rover’s Mars selfie was released by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on Twitter on Tuesday.
JPL explained that the selfie is composed of different images stitched together. These were captured by Curiosity in front of the 6m tall rock formation called ‘Mont Mercou,’ named similarly to a mountain found in the southern region of France.
Sixty (60) images were taken on March 26, 2021, by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the rover’s arm and 11 more images were taken by the Mastcam on the ‘head’ of the rover on March 16, 2021. These were then stitched together to create Curiosity’s selfie.
The selfie was posted along with a pair of three-dimensional and panoramic shots of Mars’ landscape. Also in the selfie, a drill hole can be seen on the left side of the rover where it sampled a rock called “Nontron” by scientists. The nontron-related nicknames were chosen because nontronite, a type of clay mineral, was detected by Mars orbiters in the region.
The “powderized” Nontron sample was trickled into instruments inside the rover so that their science team could better understand the history of the rock as well as its composition.
Curiosity arrived on Mars’ surface on August 6, 2012, at 1:32 am ET. The rover has been rolling up the 5-kilometer-tall Mount Sharp since 2014. According to a Tuesday news release from JPL, the area where the selfie was taken is “at the transition between the ‘clay-bearing unit’ Curiosity is departing and the ‘sulfate-bearing unit’ that’s ahead on Mount Sharp.”
Source: New York Post