NASA‘s Curiosity rover currently exploring the lonely planet Mars has sent to Earth a haunting image of a place it is at the moment climbing. In the Gale Crater, the vehicle has reached an abraded pediment known as the Central Butte.
The rover is observing the eroded layers of rock surrounding the base of Mount Sharp, which rises from the center of the crater. It is not just a detailed image of the rock depicted in the photographs Curiosity sent back to the ground laboratory.
While imaging the ground, the vehicle also captures the Martian horizon. The image NASA released (seen above) was taken utilizing the rover’s Right Navigation Camera B on November the 1st. The jaw-dropping picture depicts the view towards the crater’s edge in a rather haunting way. Seen in the foreground, the butte slightly inclines towards the crater’s margin, and in the distance, the verge of the Gale Crater, which was allegedly created in a meteorite impact a few billions of years ago, is ascending in the midst of the dusty fog.
“After all of these observations, Curiosity will start driving around the butte to look at it from the other side,” wrote planetary geologist Kristen Bennett of the United States Geological Survey on NASA’s Mars Exploration website. “We expect to continue having amazing views of Central Butte at our next stop!”
To get some perspective on the rover’s viewpoint, it is important to know that the Gale Crater is 96 miles or 154 kilometers in diameter. It also has walls that rise up all the way to the crater’s margin. The rover is set to capture images of an area at the top of the butte.
After the Opportunity was suddenly shut down, Curiosity is now the only rover currently exploring the Red Planet, with InSight as a stationary lander.