Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The best photos of Mars since Curiosity's landing



A close-up of one of the rover’s wheels. Curiosity is currently at Gale Crater, a place NASA scientists believe could harbor signs of microbial life, from the past or present.


What are those blue rocks doing on the Red Planet? The rocks would not look blue on Mars, but if they were brought back to Earth, they would. The photo is “white balanced,” or adjusted to replicate how a similar situation would look on Earth (less red dust, mainly). Geologists find these useful because they use color (as seen on Earth) to assess different properties of rocks.


This screenshot comes from an interactive panorama put together by photographer Andrew Bodrov at the panorama photography website 360Cities.net using images from NASA. Bodrov retouched the images and added the sun in the sky, using an image captured by NASA Mars rover Spirit in 2005 as a guide.


Curiosity captured this image of the wall of Gale Crater, north of where the rover first landed. This is the first close look at a fluvial system, relating to a river or stream, from the surface of Mars. Close by is a network of valleys dating from a period in Martian history, millions or even billions of years ago, when water flowed abundantly on its surface.

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