PIA26302: Curiosity Sees Streaks and Specks During 2024 Solar Storm
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  Navcam (MSL)
 Product Size:  1024 x 512 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26302.tif (525 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26302.jpg (114.3 kB)

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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured evidence of a solar storm's charged particles arriving at the Martian surface in this three-frame video taken by one of the rover's navigation cameras on May 20, 2024, the 4,190th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

The mission regularly captures videos to try and catch dust devils, or dust-bearing whirlwinds. While none were spotted in this particular sequence of images, engineers did see streaks and specks – visual artifacts created when charged particles from the Sun hit the camera's image detector. The particles do not damage the detector.

The images in this sequence appear grainy because navigation-camera images are processed to highlight changes in the landscape from frame to frame. When there isn't much change – in this case, the rover was parked &ndash more noise appears in the image.

Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measured a sharp increase in radiation at this time – the biggest radiation surge the mission has seen since landing in 2012.

Curiosity was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California. JPL leads the mission on behalf of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more about Curiosity, visit: http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

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