PIA16229: Bright Particle of Martian Origin in Scoop Hole
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Spacecraft: Curiosity
Instrument: MAHLI
Product Size: 1608 x 1199 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16229.tif (5.786 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16229.jpg (288 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This image contributed to an interpretation by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity science team that some of the bright particles on the ground near the rover are native Martian material. Other light-toned material nearby (see PIA16230) has been assessed as small debris from the spacecraft.

Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera took this image on the mission's 66th Martian day, or sol, (Oct. 12, 2012) showing part of the hole or bite left in the ground when Curiosity collected its first scoop of Martian soil five sols earlier. A clod of soil near the top center of the image contains a light-toned particle. The observation that the particle is embedded in the clod led scientists to assess this particle as Martian material, not something from the spacecraft. This assessment prompted the mission to continue scooping in the area, despite observations of a few light-toned particles in the area being scooped.

The image shows an area about 2 inches (5 centimeters) across. It is brightened to improve visibility in the shaded area.

JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl, http://www.nasa.gov/mars, and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Image Addition Date:
2012-10-15