03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
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
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
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
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
Night Close-up of Martian Sand GrainsThe Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the robotic arm of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used electric lights at night to illuminate this view of Martian sand grains dumped on the ground after sorting with a sieve.
The view covers an area roughly 1.1 inches by 0.8 inch (2.8 centimeters by 2.1 centimeters).
The grains seen here were too large to pass through a sieve with 150-micron (0.006 inch) pores. They were part of the sand in the first scoop collected by Curiosity at "Namib Dune." A different portion of that scoop -- consisting of grains small enough to pass through the 150-micron sieve -- was delivered to the rover's on-board laboratory instruments for analysis. The larger-grain portion dumped onto the ground became accessible to investigation by other instruments on Curiosity, including imaging by MAHLI and composition analysis by the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instruments. Laser-zapping of the dump pile by ChemCam caused an elongated dimple visible near the center of this view.
The MAHLI images combined into this focus-merged view were taken on Jan. 22, 2016, after dark on the 1,230th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The illumination source is two white-light LEDs (light-emitting diodes) on MAHLI. They shone down on the right side of the image, so shadows are toward the left. The focus-merge product was generated by the instrument autonomously combining in-focus portions of eight separate images taken at different focus settings.
The dark appearance is purposeful: The camera team chose an exposure setting that would prevent most of the white grains in this otherwise very dark sand from being over-exposed.
MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.
More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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