NASA's Mars Curiosity rover captures a new selfie
The Curiosity rover continues to traverse the Martian landscape searching for clues that might reveal the Red Planet's ancient history.
NASA has released the latest ’selfie’ captured by its Curiosity rover, which is currently exploring Mars searching for clues that could reveal the Red Planet’s geological history.
Curiosity recently set a record for its steepest ever climb, tracking to the top of the Greenheugh Pediment, a broad sheet of rock perched on top of a hill.
The Mars rover captured this selfie on 26 February 2020 just before attempting the climb, which it completed on 6 March 2020.
The selfie is a mosaic pieced together from 86 individual images captured by the camera on the end of the rover's robotic arm. These were then stitched into a panorama view by NASA scientists back on Earth.
Just to the viewer’s left of Curiosity’s frontmost wheel is a hole the rover driller at a rock feature named ‘Hutton’.
Curiosity is one of many robotic craft currently exploring Mars, including NASA's new Perseverance rover, which is due to land on the Red Planet on 18 February 2021. Planetary scientists on the hunt for signs of life elsewhere in our Solar System want to learn more about Mars's ancient history, as it is thought the Red Planet was once much wetter than it currently is today.
As a result, it is one of the best places in the Solar System to look for signs of conditions that could potentially once have supported life.
- Captured by Curiosity Mars Rover
- Release date 20 March 2020
- Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Staff Writer. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.