Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 25, 2014

On the way to Mount Sharp - Sol 717
On the way to Mount Sharp - Sol 717

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech - MER Curiosity - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

This frame, taken by the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory - Curiosity, looks down the "Ramp" located at the North/Eastern end of "Hidden Valley", and across the Sandy-floored Valley which takes to the lower Slopes of Mount Sharp (visible on the Horizon, to the left - Sx - of the picture).

Curiosity used its Navigation Camera (or "NavCam", for short) to capture this Southward View of the Landscape during the 717th Martian Day, or Sol, of the Rover's work at Gale Crater - Mars (such as August, 12, 2014 on Earth). By that date, Curiosity had already entered and exited the Valley via the aforementioned "Ramp". The Rover, subsequently (---> afterwards), descended the Ramp-Partway to approach a pale Outcrop bearing a candidate Rock for drilling. The drilling candidate, called "Bonanza King", is just outside of this view, closer to the Rover than the foreground of the scene. For scale, the distance between the parallel pairs of Curiosity's Wheel Tracks left on the Floor of this area of Gale Crater is about 9 feet (such as approx. 2,743 meters).

This picture (which is an Original b/w Image taken by the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity" on August, 12, 2014, published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 18599) has been additionally processed, magnified in order to help the visibility of the Landscape's details, Gamma corrected and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal - meaning "in the average" - human eye would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory "Curiosity", and then looked ahead, towards the Horizon and the Lower Slopes of Mount Sharp), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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