NASA Scientist Turns Mars Rover Selfie Into Art….

A ‘selfie’ taken by NASA’s Curiosity Rover has become such a hit that it inspired one of the scientists on the team that created the camera taking the selfie to turn into an artwork.

NASA shared the picture on its Facebook page. It’s titled Le Petit Rover – a reference to French writer-aviator’s book Le Petit Prince or The Little Prince, a book about a planet-hopping ‘prince’ who falls to Earth from an asteroid.

Photo Credit: Facebook/NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

The original image is a low-angle self-portrait of the Mars Rover, which shows the vehicle above the “Buckskin” rock target in the “Marias Pass” area of lower Mount Sharp.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The artwork inspired by the original selfie has almost 3,000 likes so far.



image of the Day… Sunset Sequence in Mars…!!!

Sunset on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover recorded this sequence of views of the sun setting at the close of the mission’s 956th Martian day, or sol (April 15, 2015), from the rover’s location in Gale Crater.

The four images shown in sequence here were taken over a span of 6 minutes, 51 seconds.

This was the first sunset observed in color by Curiosity.  The images come from the left-eye camera of the rover’s Mast Camera (Mastcam). The color has been calibrated and white-balanced to remove camera artifacts. Mastcam sees color very similarly to what human eyes see, although it is actually a little less sensitive to blue than people are.

Dust in the Martian atmosphere has fine particles that permit blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than longer-wavelength colors.  That causes the blue colors in the mixed light coming from the sun to stay closer to sun’s part of the sky, compared to the wider scattering of yellow and red colors. The effect is most pronounced near sunset, when light from the sun passes through a longer path in the atmosphere than it does at mid-day.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover’s Mastcam. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover.  For more information about Curiosity, visit and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M Univ.


” Curiosity Sees Prominent Mineral Veins on Mount Sharp, Mars…”

This View from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows a network of two-tone mineral veins at an area called “Garden City” on lower Mount Sharp.

The veins combine light and dark material. The veins at this site jut to heights of up to about 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) above the surrounding rock, and their widths range up to about 1.5 inches (4 centimeters). Figure 1 includes a 30-centimeter scale bar (about 12 inches).

Mineral veins such as these form where fluids move through fractured rocks, depositing minerals in the fractures and affecting chemistry of the surrounding rock. In this case, the veins have been more resistant to erosion than the surrounding host rock.

This scene is a mosaic combining 28 images taken with Mastcam’s right-eye camera, which has a telephoto lens with a focal length of 100 millimeters. The component images were taken on March 18, 2015, during the 929th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars. The color has been approximately white-balanced to resemble how the scene would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover’s Mastcam. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover.

Feature: Curiosity Eyes Prominent Mineral Veins on Mars
More information and image products

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS 



Selfie of Curiosity ‘Mojovae’ Site on Mount Sharp of MARS !!!!


This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the “Mojave” site, where its drill collected the mission’s second taste of Mount Sharp.

The scene combines dozens of images taken during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.  The pale “Pahrump Hills” outcrop surrounds the rover, and the upper portion of Mount Sharp is visible on the horizon.  Darker ground at upper right and lower left holds ripples of wind-blown sand and dust.

An annotated version, Fig. A, labels several of the sites Curiosity has investigated during three passes up the Pahrump Hills outcrop examining the outcrop at increasing levels of detail. The rover used its sample-collecting drill at “Confidence Hills” as well as at Mojave, and in late February was assessing “Telegraph Peak” as a third drilling site.

The view does not include the rover’s robotic arm.  Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic’s component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images, or portions of images, that were used in this mosaic. This process was used previously in acquiring and assembling Curiosity self-portraits taken at sample-collection sites “Rocknest” (, “John Klein” ( and “Windjana” (

Curiosity used its drill to collect a sample of rock powder from target “Mojave 2” at this site on Jan. 31, 2015.  The full-depth, sample-collection hole and the shallower preparation test hole beside it are visible in front of the rover in this self-portrait, and in more detail at .  The Mojave site is in the “Pink Cliffs” portion of the Pahrump Hills outcrop. The outcrop is an exposure of the Murray formation, which forms the basal geological layer of Mount Sharp.  Views of Pahrump Hills from other angles are at and the inset at .

The frames showing the rover in this mosaic were taken during the 868th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Jan. 14, 2015).  Additional frames around the edges to extend the amount of terrain included in the scene were taken on Sol 882 (Jan. 29, 2015).  The frames showing the drill holes were taken on Sol 884 (Jan. 31, 2015).

For scale, the rover’s wheels are 20 inches (50 centimeters) in diameter and about 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide.  The drilled holes in the rock are 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) in diameter.

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. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS



Is There Life on Mars ?… Question Remains….

Questions of life on Mars revive with methane spike

Curiosity rover has now measured a dramatic spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the Martian air, plus other organic molecules in a Martian rock.

The first definitive detection of Martian organic chemicals in material on the surface of Mars came from analysis by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover of sample powder from this mudstone target,

The mystery of whether Mars has or ever had life got a boost today (December 16, 2014) when NASA announced that its Curiosity rover – which landed on Mars in August, 2012 – has measured a tenfold spike in methane in the atmosphere around the rover. NASA scientists made the announcement at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The journal Science also published these results today.

Methane is an organic chemical, and it’s conceivable, although far from certain, methane-belching microbes on Mars might be responsible for the spike.

Overall, researchers said, methane levels recorded by Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) are lower than expected.

However, for about a two-month period in late 2013 and early 2014, researchers did observe a temporary and dramatic increase in methane in the Martian air around the rover.

NASA scientists are quick to point out that the source of the methane on Mars could be either biological or non-biological. For example, a non-biological source of the methane might be an interaction between water and rock.

At the same time, for the first time ever, the rover has detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by drilling into a rock on Mars, which scientists have dubbed Cumberland. Organic molecules, which contain carbon and usually hydrogen, are chemical building blocks of life (although they can exist without the presence of life). NASA says it’s the first definitive detection of organics in surface materials of Mars. These Martian organics could either have formed on Mars or been delivered to Mars by meteorites, scientists say.

Is there life on Mars today, or was there ever life on Mars? These results don’t prove either speculation. However, said John Grotzinger, Curiosity project scientist of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena:

We will keep working on the puzzles these findings present. Can we learn more about the active chemistry causing such fluctuations in the amount of methane in the atmosphere? Can we choose rock targets where identifiable organics have been preserved?

NASA says that Curiosity is:

… one element of NASA’s ongoing Mars research and preparation for a human mission to Mars in the 2030s.

Read more about Curiosity’s measurement of a methane spike on Mars.

Bottom line: Mars Curiosity rover measures a dramatic spike in methane and detects other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.