Curiosity Captures Martian Morning - Afternoon

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its black-and-white navigation cameras to capture panoramas of “Marker Band Valley” at two times of day on April 8.

The color was added to a combination of both panoramas for an artistic interpretation of the scene.  Image credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Captures Martian Morning - Afternoon

Lighting from two times of day was combined for a stunning view of the terrain that the rover is leaving behind.

After completing a major software update in April, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover took a last look at “Marker Band Valley” before leaving it behind, capturing a “postcard” of the scene.

The postcard is an artistic interpretation of the landscape, with color added over two black-and-white panoramas captured by Curiosity’s navigation cameras. The views were taken on April 8 at 9:20 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. local Mars time, providing dramatically different lighting that, when combined, makes details in the scene stand out. Blue was added to parts of the postcard captured in the morning and yellow to parts taken in the afternoon, just as with a similar postcard taken by Curiosity in November 2021.

Curiosity engineer Doug Ellison of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, who planned and processed the images, said:

“Anyone who’s been to a national park knows the scene looks different in the morning than it does in the afternoon. Capturing two times of day provides dark shadows because the lighting is coming in from the left and the right, like you might have on a stage – but instead of stage lights, we’re relying on the Sun.”