05.15.2017 Putting Martian 'Tribulation' Behind
05.15.2017 From 'Tribulation' to 'Perseverance' on Mars
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop Team
04.20.2017 Subcritical Water Extractor
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop
04.20.2017 Atacama Landscape
03.30.2017 Measuring Mars' Atmosphere Loss
03.29.2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Theisinger
03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
03.17.2017 COBALT/JPL team
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
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
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
Rover's Panorama of Entrance to 'Murray Buttes' on MarsThis 360-degree panorama was acquired by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover as the rover neared features called "Murray Buttes" on lower Mount Sharp.
The view combines more than 130 images taken on Aug. 5, 2016, during the afternoon of the mission's 1,421st sol, or Martian day, by Mastcam's left-eye camera. This date also was the fourth anniversary of Curiosity's landing.
The dark, flat-topped mesa seen to the left of Curiosity's robotic arm is about 300 feet (about 90 meters) from the rover's position. It stands about 50 feet (about 15 meters) high. The horizontal ledge near the top of the mesa is about 200 feet (about 60 meters) across. An upper portion of Mount Sharp appears on the distant horizon to the left of this mesa.
The relatively flat foreground is part of a geological layer called the Murray formation, which formed from lakebed mud deposits. The buttes and mesas rising above this surface are eroded remnants of ancient sandstone that originated when winds deposited sand after lower Mount Sharp had formed. Curiosity closely examined that layer -- the Stimson formation -- during the first half of 2016 while crossing a feature called "Naukluft Plateau" between two exposures of the Murray formation.
The buttes and mesas of Murray Buttes are capped by material that is relatively resistant to erosion, just as is the case with many similarly shaped buttes and mesas on Earth. The informal naming honors Bruce Murray (1931-2013), a Caltech planetary scientist and director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
The scene is presented with a color adjustment that approximates white balancing, to resemble how the rocks and sand would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth.
The rover's location when its Mastcam acquired the component images of this scene was the site it reached in its Sol 1417 drive. (See map at http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7963.)
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Mastcam. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, and built the project's Curiosity rover. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS