[meteorite-list] Mars Hand Lens Imager Sends Ultra High-Res Photo From Mars (Curiosity Rover)
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 10:36:29 -0700 (PDT)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE PLANETARY SCIENCE INSTITUTE
Public Information Officer
Planetary Science Institute
fischer at psi.edu
Mars Hand Lens Imager Sends Ultra High-Res Photo From Mars
Oct. 8, 2013, Tucson, Ariz. -- An instrument aboard NASA's Curiosity rover
has sent back to scientists on Earth an ultra high-resolution image of a
penny the rover carried to Mars.
The coin was photographed by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard
Curiosity in northern Gale crater on Mars. The penny, a 1909 VDB penny
minted in Philadelphia during the first year that Lincoln cents became
available, is part of the MAHLI calibration target and came from Earth. The
images were acquired on Oct. 2, on sol 411 - the 411th Martian day - of the
"I'm so proud of how beautifully this camera has performed on Mars," said
R. Aileen Yingst, Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist and deputy
Principal Investigator for MAHLI. "I can't wait to apply this newly
available capability to real geologic targets on our way to Mt. Sharp."
At 13.9 micrometers per pixel, this is the highest resolution image that
the MAHLI can acquire, Yingst said. This image was obtained as part of a
test; it was the first time that the rover's robotic arm placed the MAHLI
close enough to a target to obtain MAHLI's highest-possible resolution. The
previous highest-resolution MAHLI images, which were pictures of Martian
rocks, were at 16-17 micrometers per pixel. A micrometer, also known as a
micron, is about 0.000039 inches.
Visit http://www.psi.edu/news/MAHLIimage.html to see the penny photographed
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project provided funding for MAHLI.
The gold medal for highest resolution photographs on Mars goes to NASA's
Phoenix Mars Lander's optical microscope. As a microscope, though,
fine-grained samples had to be delivered to it, whereas MAHLI can be
deployed to look at geologic materials in their natural setting.
R. Aileen Yingst
yingst at psi.edu
Mark V. Sykes
sykes at psi.edu
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Received on Tue 08 Oct 2013 01:36:29 PM PDT