Curiosity earns his name again: the Mars Rover, which was named after the very human emotion “Curiosity”, is located at the end of a month-long sightseeing tour through the “Murray buttes” region at Mount Sharp, also known as “Gale Crater”. There he take photos like a Japanese tourists, what keeps this stuff, and pleased his colleagues on the Earth with spectacular shots.
Similar to U.S. national parks new photos of the red planet
The photos, the 900 kg Mars vehicle there on 8 September that made and sent by satellite to the Earth, could have come from a national park tour in the United States: You show a landscape full of rock formations layered, sharp-edged, and diverse. Some of the pictures show boulders on the surface of sand dunes, others pointed peaks and small mountain formations many of these slate-like layered. Hang on the walls of some stone outcrops, others are fissures.
On Earth, researchers who want to understand the change of a the current landscape of Mars since 2012 the curiosity data, the shots are however much more than nice holiday pictures: you give them clues about the geological conditions on the planet.
Remains of an ancient sand dunes
It was the remains of an ancient sand dunes, the wind there have piled up, said Ashwin Vasavada, a scientist from the curiosity of the NASA project. At some point, they were disappeared beneath the surface, where they have come into contact with groundwater. While she would have changed chemically. At some point, they have come back to the surface.
The wind did the then “Fine-tuning” and turned it into the landscape, which now shows curiosity the Earth dwellers. The whole area, so it is assumed on the basis of earlier data, created billions of years ago Great Lakes exactly at this point.
MastCam with two high-performance cameras
The razor sharp color images come from the so called MastCam, with which the Rover take photos of its surroundings. It consists of two high-definition cameras that are attached to the 1.1 m high mast by curiosity. This can move like a human head, and take different perspectives. In addition, it creates even 360-degree rotations, so that every time the whole vehicle with must move. The danger that the images blurred during the trip, is rather not: the Rover moves at a maximum speed of just four centimetres per second that’s 144 meters per hour.
The two cameras that are identical except for the field, the fixed focal length of 34 mm or 100 mm and the available filters, have sensors that provide a resolution of 1.44 megapixels and 720 p videos at up to 10 frames per second. You take their pictures in the visible and near infrared spectrum. The images save them on Flash memory 8 GB, until a satellite within easy reach, which sends them to Earth.
Next task: drilling
For curiosity, the Photo Safari is now first finished: of moving researchers passes more. On the way from the spectacular Murray buttes region out he stopped at the foot of the last Butte, where he currently continues his search for traces of water with a hole once again. Then we head South and then up on the mount sharp.