02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Test Image of Earth Sand by Mars CameraThis view of grains from a sand dune near Christmas Lake, Ore., was taken by a testing twin of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. The image includes three manufactured spheres; each is a 2-millimeter-diameter (0.08-inch-diameter) ball bearing, placed here to provide an independent measure of the image scale. Reflected in each sphere is the glow from the camera's four white LEDs (light-emitting diodes).
The Mars Science Laboratory mission's rover, Curiosity, will carry MAHLI at the end of the robotic arm. The mission will land the rover on Mars in August 2012.
This image has a resolution of 15.4 microns per pixel, about twice as high as the resolution possible with the close-up cameras on the arms of earlier Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The view covers an area about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) across. At its closest-in focus, MAHLI's field of view covers an area about 2.2 by 1.7 centimeters (0.9 by 0.7 inches), with a resolution of 13.9 microns per pixel.
Geologists can examine an image like this for information about the composition of the sand. In this case, the largest white grains are pumice fragments and the dark black and gray grains are fragments of basalt. Nearly transparent, slightly yellow crystals are feldspars. The crystals and pumice were erupted by Mount Mazama in its terminal explosion about 7700 years ago; the volcano is known today as Crater Lake.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, supplied MAHLI for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems