The mission's science team assessed the bright particles in this scooped pit to be native Martian material rather than spacecraft debris as seen in this image from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity as it collected its second scoop of Martian soil.
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Bright Particle in Hole Dug by Scooping of Martian Soil

This image shows part of the small pit or bite created when NASA's Mars rover Curiosity collected its second scoop of Martian soil at a sandy patch called "Rocknest." The bright particle near the center of this image, and similar ones elsewhere in the pit, prompted concern because a small, light-toned shred of debris from the spacecraft had been observed previously nearby (PIA16230). However, the mission's science team assessed the bright particles in this scooped pit to be native Martian material rather than spacecraft debris.

This image was taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on Curiosity's arm during the 69th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 15, 2012), about a week after the scoop dug this hole. The view here covers an area of ground about 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) across.

JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl, http://www.nasa.gov/mars, and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Image details

ID#:
PIA16233

Date added:
2012-10-18

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Spacecraft:
Curiosity

Instruments:
Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI)

Rating:



Views:
14,441

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA16233.tif (2.2 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA16233.jpg (0.12 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech