Now that the Curiosity rover has a spectacular landing under its belt, it’s time to get down to business–the business of sending us awesome new pictures of Mars, that is. Check out the first high-resolution images sent back from the red planet in this media update from NASA.
The images show a landscape that closely resembles portions of the southwestern United States in its morphology, adding to the impression gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail mosaic released early in the week.
The colors in the main image are unmodified from those returned by the camera. While it is difficult to say whether this is what a human eye would see, it is what a cell phone or camcorder would record since the Mastcam takes color pictures in the exact same manner that consumer cameras acquire color images. The colors in a second version linked to the main image have been modified as if the scene were transported to Earth and illuminated by terrestrial sunlight. This processing, called “white balancing,” is useful for scientists to be able to recognize and distinguish rocks by color in more familiar lighting.
Hit up the link below to check out the full panoramic image and read more about this initial offering from the rover’s camera system.