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Curiosity: View from the Red Planet

NASA's Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars on August 5 and has been sending back high-resolution photos of the Red Planet for the last few weeks. I've compiled some of Curiosity's best shots so far, including this one, taken shortly after landing through a fish-eye lens on the rover's front hazard-avoidance cameras.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity: Part of the deck

Taken during Curiosity's first week on Martian soil, this shot shows part of the deck of the vehicle. Part of the rover's power supply is visible, as are two communications antennae.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity: Martian laser shot

This composite image shows the results of the first laser shot on Mars. The background is a NavCam image, while the circular inset is a ChemCam image and the square magnifies the laser investigation into a martian rock.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP
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Curiosity: Engine blast marks

This image and magnified inset show a top layer of rock that was revealed by engine blasts dispersing Martian dirt.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Curiosity: First color shot

The first color image from Mars taken by Curiosity is murky because the dust cover on the lens at the end of the rover's robotic arm was apparently coated with dust during descent. The dust cover remained in place for several days after landing.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
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Curiosity: Mount Sharp

A view of the lower levels of Mount Sharp, a Martian mountain taller than California's Mt. Whitney. Curiosity will trek to the base of the peak to study the area.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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This is how Curiosity rolls

This image shows one of Curiosity's rear wheels and a fin on the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (the rover's power source).

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity skydiving

Curiosity's descent assisted by a parachute was captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on August 5.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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Curiosity's shadow

Curiosity checks out its shadow in a picture that makes you want to say "Johnny-5 is alive!"

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity: Impressionist self-portrait

From NASA's Cubist period, this 360-degree polar-projected self-portrait of Curiosity is comprised of several shots of differing resolutions taken from a vantage point above the rover.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity; Red Planet gravel

A close-up color look at the gravel surface of Mars.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Curiosity; Gale Crater

This color panorama shows Curiosity's view of Gale Crater, its home on Mars, which looks an awful lot like some areas in New Mexico.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Curiosity: Mars or Arizona?

This white-balanced image shows how the path to Mount Sharp would look if lit by earthly sunlight. The resemblance to the American Southwest is even stronger.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Curiosity: Hot profile pic!

A full-resolution mosaic self-portrait of Curiosity reveals one handsome rover.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Curiosity's ChemCam

A view of the ChemCam instrument capable of firing laser pulses at martian rocks, soil, and perhaps those nasty things from the Chronicles of Riddick.

Updated:Caption:Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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