Mount Sharp Panorama in Raw Colors
This mosaic of images from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows Mount Sharp in raw color as recorded by the camera. Raw color shows the scene's colors as they would look in a typical smart-phone camera photo, before any adjustment.
Mount Sharp, also called Aeolis Mons, is a layered mound in the center of Mars' Gale Crater, rising more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor, where Curiosity has been working since the rover's landing in August 2012. Lower slopes of Mount Sharp are the major destination for the mission, though the rover will first spend many more weeks around a location called "Yellowknife Bay," where it has found evidence of a past environment favorable for microbial life.
This mosaic was assembled from dozens of images from the 100-millimeter-focal-length telephoto lens camera mounted on the right side of the Mastcam instrument. The component images were taken during the 45th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's mission on Mars (Sept. 20, 2012). The sky has been filled out by extrapolating color and brightness information from the portions of the sky that were captured in images of the terrain.
A white-balanced version of the mosaic is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16768 . White balancing makes the sky look overly blue, but shows the terrain as if under Earth-like lighting.
Curiosity's Mastcam was built and is operated by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS