NASA's Curiosity rover loves to send and close-up looks at fascinating rocks and . But sometimes it gets to pose for a portrait from far, far away.
Conditions were just right at the end of May for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft to capture a snapshot of Curiosity working away in an area called Woodland Bay, part of the intriguing " ."
The enhanced-color image comes from the MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which is operated by the University of Arizona in Tucson. If you're having trouble spotting the rover, check out NASA's cropped version of the image that highlights its location.
A close look at the rover shows a bright spot in the upper left-hand corner. This is likely the rover's "head," which includes a suite of instruments on the end of a mast.
The sun was hitting the rover just right. "Mirror-like reflections off smooth surfaces show up as especially bright spots in HiRISE images," said NASA in a release on Friday.
The clay-rich area Curiosity is exploring now is one of the big reasons NASA chose Curiosity's landing site in Gale Crater. The rover is studying the history of water on Mars and looking for signs of microbial life, past or present.
Spotting NASA machines on Mars is a bit of hobby for the MRO HiRISE team, which showed us both theand the last year.
Curiosity is NASA's only working rover on Mars at the moment, but that's scheduled to change when thegets its own crack at the Red Planet in 2021. The MRO should be there to keep an eye on Mars' new visitor.