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Color Pictures Of Mars Rover: New Orbiter Image Shows Curiosity On Red Planet

08/15/2012 08:57 am ET

NASA recently released color photos of the Mars rover Curiosity taken from orbit. An aerial view of the rover and its surroundings was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

"We can clearly see Curiosity," Alfred McEwen, the principal investigator on MRO's HiRise camera, told the BBC. "It's like two bright spots that we see, and their shadows. And then it's surrounded by the blast pattern from the descent stage--those little blue fans right next to it (false colour blue)."

color pictures of marsThis color-enhanced view of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as the satellite flew overhead. Colors have been enhanced to show the subtle color variations near the rover, which result from different types of materials.

Curiosity successfully landed at Mars's Gale Crater on Aug. 6 to kick off a two-year mission of investigating the habitability of the planet. The crater is visible in the HiRise color images, which were snapped at an angle of 30 degrees from straight down, looking west, according to NASA.

color pictures of marsThis color-enhanced view -- taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as the satellite flew overhead -- shows the terrain around the rover's landing site within Gale Crater on Mars. Colors were enhanced to bring out subtle differences, showing that the landing region is not as colorful as regions to the south, closer to Mount Sharp, where Curiosity will eventually explore. In reality, the blue colors are more gray.

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