Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 August 18
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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Curiosity on Mars: Still Life with Rover
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech

Explanation: What does the Curiosity rover look like on Mars? To help find out, NASA engineers digitally synthesized multiple navigation camera images taken last week into what appears to be the view of a single camera. Besides clods of Martian dirt, many of Curiosity's science instruments are visible and appear in good shape. Near the middle of the rover is an augmented reality tag intended to enable smartphones to provide background information. Far in the distance is a wall of Gale Crater. As Curiosity will begin to roll soon, its first destination has now been chosen: an intriguing intersection of three types of terrain named Glenelg.

Tomorrow's picture: ancient star ball

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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