WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – NASA has released the first high-resolution color mosaic from its Curiosity rover, showing for the very first time the geological environment around its landing site in Gale Crater on Mars.
The images show a landscape that resembles the likes of the southwestern United States, building on the impression already gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail mosaic released earlier in the week.
The colors seen in the main image are unmodified versions returned from the camera. There is no telling if this photo presents the same image a human eye would see, but it is equivalent to what a cell phone or camcorder would record.
In a second version of the image has been modified with “white balancing” to give scientists a more realistic image of what it would look like with a more familiar “terrestrial” sunlight, according to NASA.
President Barack Obama congratulated members of NASA’s Curiosity mission on Monday, just a week after the rover landed on the Red Planet.
During the next two years, Curiosity will investigate Mars to determine if the planet has ever been capable of sustaining microbial life.
One website even offers users the ability to take a 360 degree tour of Curiosity Rover’s current camera position. You can take the tour here.