Curiosity's First Rock Star, Up-Close ANNOTATEDThis close-up image shows the first target NASA's Curiosity rover aims to zap with its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. ChemCam will be firing a laser at this rock, provisionally named N165, and analyzing the glowing, ionized gas, called plasma, that the laser excites. The instrument will analyze that spark with a telescope and identify the chemical elements in the target.
The rock is just off to the right of the rover. This image is part of a set of images obtained by Curiosity's Mast Camera on Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT). See First High-Resolution Color Mosaic of Curiosity's Mastcam Images for the larger mosaic.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/LANL