06.21.2017 A.I. laser targeting
06.01.2017 Diagram of Lake Stratification on Mars
05.22.2017 NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Artist's Concept #1
05.15.2017 Putting Martian 'Tribulation' Behind
05.15.2017 From 'Tribulation' to 'Perseverance' on Mars
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop Team
04.20.2017 Subcritical Water Extractor
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop
04.20.2017 Atacama Landscape
03.30.2017 Measuring Mars' Atmosphere Loss
03.29.2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Theisinger
03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
03.17.2017 COBALT/JPL team
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
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'
First Imaging of Laser-Induced Spark on MarsNASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on its arm to catch the first images of sparks produced by the rover's laser being shot at a rock on Mars. The left image is from before the laser zapped this rock, called "Nova." The bright spot at the center of the right image is the spark. The rock is about the size of a baseball.
The laser is fired by Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. ChemCam also includes spectrometers to examine intensities of light at different wavelengths in sparks that the laser shots induce at the target. The spectrometer data inform researchers about which chemical elements are in the target.
In the first two years since Curiosity landed in Mars' Gale Crater in August 2012, ChemCam has used its laser on more than 600 rock or soil targets, firing more than 150,000 laser shots. The examination of the target rock Nova was the first during which MAHLI took images of the sparks generated by the laser shots. ChemCam fired 100 laser shots at Nova during the 687th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (July 12, 2014). MAHLI, snapping exposures at nearly five times per second during this series of laser shots, captured several of the resulting sparks, including the one in the image on the right. A video made from the series of MAHLI images is online at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/videos/index.cfm?v=208 .
ChemCam found Nova to be rich in silicon, aluminum and sodium. An image of the target from ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager is PIA18388, along with a sampling of spectrometer data from the examination.
Malin Space Sciences Systems, San Diego, developed, built and operates MAHLI. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, developed and built Curiosity and manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which is using the rover to assess ancient habitable environments and environmental changes on Mars.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS