Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 26, 2014

Pahrump Hills Outcrop - Sol 751
Pahrump Hills Outcrop - Sol 751

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

This South-Eastward-looking Vista from the Mast Camera (or "MastCam", for short) located onboard the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity shows the "Pahrump Hills" Outcrop and the surrounding Terrain as seen from a position which is about about 70 feet (such as about 21,336 meters) North/West of the Outcrop itself.

The component images forming this mosaic were acquired on September 17, 2014, during the 751st Martian Day, or Sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The Rover Team used these images to select a first drilling site on Pahrump Hills, which is part of the Base Layer of Mount Sharp. The selected drilling location is in the near portion of the pale Outcrop to the right (Dx) of the Sand Ripples.

The scene includes (at least) 4 (four) major and distinct Surface Features:

1. Sand Ripples in the foreground, typical of those seen along the Floors of the Valleys found in this area within Gale Crater
2. The Pahrump Hills section of the Murray Formation, where approximately 60 vertical feet (such as about 18,288 meters) of Rock Layers are exposed
3. A darker Ridge off in the distance toward the left (Sx)
4. North/Western Slopes of Mount Sharp in the background, where an abrupt transition is apparent between the Buttes and Valleys found in the lower part and the tilted and carved beds of the upper part

This view combines several exposures taken by the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory Curiosity's MastCam's Left-Eye Camera.

This picture (which is an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - Mars Laboratory - "Curiosity" White-Balanced image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 18608) has been additionally processed, reduced in size to fit the page, Gamma corrected and then re-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 Pahrump Hills Outcrop located at the base of Mt Sharp, inside Gale Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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