NASA's Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on Vera
Rubin Ridge and descended toward a clay region of Mount Sharp. The twisting
ridge on Mars has been the home of more than a year, providing
Scientists with new samples – and new questions – to puzzle over.
On Dec. 15, Curiosity drilled its 19th sample at
location on the ridge called Rock Hall. On Jan. 15, the spacecraft used its
Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the end of its robotic arm to take a
series of 57 pictures, which were stitched together into this selfie. The
"Rock Hall" drill hole is visible to the lower left of the rover; the
scene is dustier than usual at this time of year due to a regional dust storm.
Curiosity has been exploring the ridge since September of
trough just south of the ridge. Clay minerals in this unit may hold more clues
about the ancient lakes that formed the lower levels on Mount Sharp.
For more information about
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, visit:
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.