Selfie on Mars: NASA's rover collects stunning pictures of Red Planet

Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : Despite the massive dust storm on Mars, NASA's Curosity rover kept on working successfully to send photos and samples of the red planet.

On August 9, when the storm was officially known to die down, the rover took rock sample and captured a 360-degree view of its surroundings on Vera Rubin, revealing a thin layer of dust still lingering in the air.

The dutiful NASA's Curosity rover took a selfie of Mars which presents the stunning panorama eerie brown skies, with glimpses of Mount Sharp and ancient lakebed. The immersive snap has left the scientists in a state of shock.

In the meantime, NASA's other Mars rover, Opportunity is in silent mode for over two months after hunkering down in the dust storm.

Coming to the Curosity rover, it captured a panorama and selfie shots using its Mast Camera. The rover’s previous drill attempts were dissatisfied by unexpectedly hard rocks, according to NASA, so the latest collection came as a total surprise.

Vera Rubin Ridge, where Curiosity is currently investigating, has puzzled scientists since its discovery.

The discovered region varies greatly in color and texture that was never encountered before.

The Vera Rubin Ridge has two distinct sections, each of which has a variety of colors,’ said Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. ‘Some are visible to the eye and even more show up when we look in near-infrared, just beyond what our eyes can see. ‘Some seem related to how hard the rocks are.’ says an astronomer.

For now, scientists have made a guess to find a good point for drilling. The scientists suspected the ridge’s ledge may include harder rock while the spot below may be softer.

With the help of the sample, NASA's Curosity rover Curiosity will be able to study the pulverized rock in its internal laboratories, to reveal what material is holding the ridge together in the face of wind erosion.