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Mars Science Laboratory

Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars


A sweeping panorama combining 33 telephoto images into one Martian vista presents details of several types of terrain visible on Mount Sharp from a location along the route of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.

The rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) recorded the component images with its right-eye camera on April 10, 2015, during the 952nd Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, before that sol's drive. The panorama spans from south-southeast, at left, to west-southwest. The color has been approximately white-balanced to resemble how the scene would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth.

Higher elevations on Mount Sharp are visible at left, including the jagged skyline to the right of a 100-meter scale bar overlaid on the image. (One hundred meters is about 328 feet.) The 2-meter (7-foot) scale bar near the center of the scene is on an exposure of pale mudstone within Mount Sharp's basal geological unit, the Murray formation, and nearby darker rocks. The 3-meter (10-foot) scale bar farther to the right is at the base of a rise called "Gray Wolf Peak." "Logan Pass," a science destination for the rover, is at a dip on the horizon near the right edge of the panorama.

Figure 1 is an unannotated version of this panorama:

A map of this area, showing the rover's location at the time of this observation, is at .

A Mastcam panorama taken on Sol 957 (April 16, 2015) after an additional 154 meters (505 feet) of generally southwestward driving shows more detail of the Logan Pass area toward the right end of this panorama, at .

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover's Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. For more information about Curiosity, visit and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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