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 27
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Curiosity on Mars: Mt. Sharp in View
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Additional Mosaic Processing: Kenneth Kremer & Marco Di Lorenzo

Explanation: What's that on the horizon? The light peak is Mt. Sharp -- an eventual destination of the Curiosity rover. The above image mosaic was taken from Bradbury Landing, the landing spot of Curiosity, and shows in the foreground the rover's extended robotic arm. Curiosity's is already on the move crossing the intermediate gravel field toward an interesting terrain feature named Glenelg. Curiosity has also already started analyzing its surroundings by zapping a nearby rock with its laser to analyze the chemical composition of the resulting gas plume. If life ever existed on Mars it might well have been here in Gale crater, with the Curiosity rover being humanity's current best chance to find what remains.

Tomorrow's picture: rho row

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