Self Portrait Details Life on Mars
The images were put together by scientists of the mission to obtain a full color picture of the Gale Crater where the rover lander and the rover itself. The six wheeled robot is on a two year mission to find out microbial life could be supported on Mars.
The image is of the “Rocknest” area where soil sampling and testing was taking place. The dirt in front of the unit had visible scoop marks in it.
The evidence of water once existing in the foothills of Mount Sharp makes it the main destination for Curiosity. The three mile height of the mountain range can be seen to the right in the photograph.
Space.com discribes the photo:
The new composite image shows the six-wheeled robot at a spot called “Rocknest,” where Curiosity has been testing out its scooping and soil-sampling systems for the first time. Four scoop marks are visible in the Martian dirt in front of the rover.
At the right of the frame rises Mount Sharp, the mysterious 3-mile-high (5 kilometers) mountain at Gale Crater’s center. Mount Sharp’s foothills are Curiosity’s main science destination, for they show signs of long-ago exposure to liquid water.
The mountains in the background to the left are the northern wall of Gale Crater, researchers said.
Stuart Atkinson is the amateur astronomer who put the images together so the robotic arm did not show. The pictures show various locations around Mars that scientist will examine to determine if it is inhabitable.