Focusing the 34-millimeter MastcamThis image is from a series of test images to calibrate the 34-millimeter Mast Camera on NASA's Curiosity rover. It was taken on Aug. 23, 2012 and looks south-southwest from the rover's landing site.
The gravelly area around Curiosity's landing site is visible in the foreground. Farther away, about a third of the way up from the bottom of the image, the terrain falls off into a depression (a swale). Beyond the swale, in the middle of the image, is the boulder-strewn, red-brown rim of a moderately-sized impact crater. Farther off in the distance, there are dark dunes and then the layered rock at the base of Mount Sharp. Some haze obscures the view, but the top ridge, depicted in this image, is 10 miles (16.2 kilometers) away.
Scientists enhanced the color in one version to show the Martian scene under the lighting conditions we have on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain. A raw version is also available.
The 34-millimeter Mastcam takes images with lower resolution, but a much wider field of view than the 100-millimeter Mastcam. A sharper version of the same scene from the telephoto 100-millimeter Mastcam can be seen at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16104.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS