This view of a sandstone target called "Big Arm" covers an area about 1.3 inches (33 millimeters) wide in detail that shows differing shapes and colors of sand grains in the stone.

July 1, 2015

This view of a sandstone target called "Big Arm" covers an area about 1.3 inches (33 millimeters) wide in detail that shows differing shapes and colors of sand grains in the stone.

Three separate images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, at different focus settings, were combined into this focus-merge view. The Big Arm target on lower Mount Sharp is at a location near "Marias Pass" where a mudstone bedrock is in contact with overlying sandstone bedrock. MAHLI recorded the component images on May 29, 2015, during the 999th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars.

The rounded shape of some grains visible here suggests they traveled long distances before becoming part of the sediment that later hardened into sandstone. Other grains are more angular and may have originated closer to the rock's current location. Lighter and darker grains may have different compositions.

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 the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

ENLARGE

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