Image: NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views rover climbing Mount Sharp

June 21, 2017, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The feature that appears bright blue at the center of this scene is NASA's Curiosity Mars rover amid tan rocks and dark sand on Mount Sharp, as viewed by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 5, 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Using the most powerful telescope ever sent to Mars, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught a view of the Curiosity rover this month amid rocky mountainside terrain.

The car-size rover, climbing up lower Mount Sharp toward its next destination, appears as a blue dab against a background of tan rocks and dark sand in the enhanced-color image from the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The exaggerated color, showing differences in Mars surface materials, makes Curiosity appear bluer than it really looks.

The image was taken on June 5, 2017, two months before the fifth anniversary of Curiosity's landing near Mount Sharp on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6, 2017, EDT and Universal Time).

When the image was taken, Curiosity was partway between its investigation of active sand dunes lower on Mount Sharp, and "Vera Rubin Ridge," a destination uphill where the rover team intends to examine outcrops where hematite has been identified from Mars orbit.

The rover's location that day is shown at https://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/2017/curiositys-traverse-map-through-sol-1717 as the point labeled 1717. Images taken that day by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) are at https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=1717&=MAST%5F .

Explore further: Image: Curiosity trek through 'Pahrump Hills' spotted by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

More information: For more information about NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit mars.nasa.gov/mro/
For more information about NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project and Curiosity, visit mars.nasa.gov/msl/

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