Spectacular Images from Curiosity Rover on Mars

A gallery of high-quality images sent to earth by Curiosity Rover from Mars.

Like any tourist visiting an exotic locale, NASA JPL’s Mars Curiosity Rover has been busy taking pictures. Except Curiosity’s snapshots are anything but boring. In fact, they’re not really snapshots, but rather many multiple images seamlessly stitched together. And they’re just amazing — remember, everything on these pages is 225 million kilometers, or 140 million miles, from here. On another world.


Curiousity is currently climbing the lower reaches of Mount Sharp, sending back mind-blowingly vivid images as recently as last week. All of the photos belong to NASA/JPL.

Selfies

Over the course of its 4-year mission, Curiosity’s sent back lots of selfies like this one from August 12, 2015. And no, that’s not a ginormous rover on top of Mars — it’s a stereoscopic image of Curiousity at the Buckskin drilling site.

Here’s a more normal selfie from Buckskin.

Sometimes, a rover has to take pictures of critical parts so humans back on earth can assess them. This was a look at Curiousity’s wheels taken at the Naukluft Plateau on Lower Mount Sharp on April 18, 2016.

One final selfie, for now, from last May 11 captures Curiousity, still on the plateau, at the Okoruso drilling site.

Exploring

Before we leave the drilling sites behind, check out this closeup of Martian sand grains Curiousity dug up at Buckskin, captured by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on its robotic arm.

On the way to Mount Sharp, Curiousity took this revealing shot from the Kimberly formation. That the foreground dips toward the base of the mountain suggests a basin — a lake? — that once held flowing water.

Murray Buttes, September 8, 2016

Here are the new Mast Camera (Mastcam) jaw-droppers from last week, all taken in the Murray Buttes area on lower Mount Sharp. They show rock outcroppings that look so familiar you could be in the Western U.S.

In the first photo, you can see the rim of Gale Crater in the haze. This is where Curiousity’s been operating since landing in 2012.

A nearly spooky hillside photo showing “cross-bedding,” sandstone layers.

Closeup of an outcrop.

Even closer view of an outcrop.

It looks so desolate — and yet oddly familiar — on Mars. For now, anyway. NASA hopes to provide our rovers some human company by 2040.

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less

Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics

Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
  • The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
  • Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less