Tuesday August 4, 2020

updated - August 4, 2020 Tuesday EDT

Mars Curiosity Rover Camera Captures Its Latest Image (PHOTO)

Apr 08, 2014 05:30 PM EDT | By Justin Stock

A unusual sight on an image taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover is leading to pondering about what it could be.

One theory says its sunlight, while the other idea is a glare into the rover's protector on its housing NBC News reported Tuesday.

"Bright spots appear in single images taken by the Navigation Camera on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on April 2 and April 3," Justin Maki, an imaging scientist. and his team members told NBC News in an e-mail. "Each is in an image taken by this stereo camera's right-eye camera [with links to the April 3 and April 2 pictures] but not in images taken within a second of each of those by the left-eye camera [again, with links to April 3 and April 2]. In the two right-eye images, the spot is in different locations of the image frame and, in both cases, at the ground surface level in front of a crater rim on the horizon," the team said in an e-mail.

"One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun. When these images were taken each day, the sun was in the same direction as the bright spot, west-northwest from the rover, and relatively low in the sky," the team told NBC News in an e-mail.

"The rover science team is also looking at the possibility that the bright spots could be sunlight reaching the camera's CCD directly through a vent hole in the camera housing, which has happened previously on other cameras on Curiosity and other Mars rovers when the geometry of the incoming sunlight relative to the camera is precisely aligned. We think it's either a vent-hole light leak or a glinty rock," the team told NBC News in an e-mail.

NASA's second rover on the red planet had a very long journey on the red planet, landing last August to begin taking in its air and further investigating its certain aspects BBC News reported.

It has dealt with a sand dune, and also come across two kinds of argon gas in argon 36, and argon 38. Curiosity was able to find these through its Sample Analysis at Mars tool (SAM) a press release reported. The Rover discovered rare meteorites through its Sample Analysis at Mars tool in October the American Geophysical Union reported in a press release.

The rover came across a mysterious rock the size of a jelly doughnut Jan. 16, a couple feet in front of it as part of its already storied past according to Discovery News.

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