How-To Geek

Check Out the First High Resolution Offerings From the Curiosity Rover

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.

First Hi-Res Color Mosaic of Curiosity’s Mastcam Images [NASA]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/13/12

Comments (16)

  1. Green Star

    Why some part of the image is blacked out?

  2. jimmy

    @Green Star

    They’re hiding something. Probably trees, buildings and vehicles…

  3. GirlGeek

    @green star and @jimmy, my thoughts exactly

  4. spike

    @Green Star: They don’t have pictures there, or haven’t stitched them into that composition yet.

  5. r

    looks like it was taken in an abandoned field not far from my house

  6. Robert

    Why do they always land in a hole, you might ask. don’t want a good panorama shot of Burbank.

  7. Aitch

    Ask for your money back. You was robbed.

  8. bedlamb

    @ r

    It was.

  9. Rmanwide

    “The black areas indicate images not yet returned by the rover.”

    I live in the desert southwest. I can see places like this anytime. Except, IT’S THE FREAKIN’ SURFACE OF MARS!

  10. flybum

    Are those ants on the little hill to the right?

  11. Ushindi

    Truly amazing. As a kid growing up, Mars was a mysterious and forbidding planet – it never, ever occurred to me I would someday be sitting at my desk and looking at rocks on the actual surface of Mars in a scan on a 40″ flatscreen TV through the magic of the internet and a home computer.
    What changes over the last few decades – again, truly amazing.

  12. Green Star

    From some where I read ….this explains few blacked out images… I still wonder what kind of algorithm controls the camera which forget to picture in the middle(or random part of) of panorama style image?

    This 79-image mosaic was acquired by the 34-millime ter Mastcam over about an hour of time on Aug. 8, 2012 PDT (Aug. 9, 2012 EDT). The full mosaic consists of 130 1,200 by 1,200 pixel full-color images, but this version includes all the images that have been returned to Earth so far. The black areas indicate images not yet returned by the rover.

  13. danhasmail

    I’ll bet they didn’t want us to see the McDonalds there.

  14. john kabbi

    why NASA spend all that money to explore the space ? what is the benefits ?

  15. spike

    @john kabbi: Curiosity – self satisfaction – pride.

  16. still18

    @john kabbi

    NASA doesn’t spend any money, they just allocate it to various projects.
    The tax payer spends the money.

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