Curiosity’s View From the Top of the ‘Greenheugh Pediment’

Curiosity Mars rover captured this view from "Greenheugh Pediment." In the foreground is the pediment's sandstone cap. At center is the "clay-bearing unit"; the floor of Gale Crater is in the distance.
July 6, 2020
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Stitched together from 28 images, this view from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover was captured on April 9, 2020, the 2,729th Martian day, or sol, of the mission after the rover ascended a steep slope, part of a geologic feature called "Greenheugh Pediment." In the foreground is the crusty sandstone cap that stretches the length of the pediment, forming an overhanging ledge in some parts. At center is the "clay-bearing unit," a region with a unique story to tell about the history of water on Mount Sharp, the 3-mile-tall (5-kilometer-tall) mountain Curiosity has been ascending since 2014. In the distance at the top of the image is the floor of Gale Crater, which is 96 miles (154 kilometers) wide.

The rover's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, provided the panorama. Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego built and operates Mastcam. A division of Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built the Curiosity rover and manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The panorama has been white-balanced so that the colors of the rock materials resemble how they would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth.

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