Using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera — the most powerful camera ever to orbit another planet, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught a view of the agency’s Curiosity rover this month amid tan rocks and dark sand on Mount Sharp, Gale crater, Mars.
When this image was taken, Curiosity was partway between its investigation of active sand dunes lower on Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) and ‘Vera Rubin Ridge,’ a destination uphill where the rover team intends to examine outcrops where hematite has been identified from Mars orbit.
The car-size rover appears bluer than it really is.
HiRISE color observations are recorded in a red band, a blue-green band and an infrared band, and displayed in red, green and blue.
This helps make differences in Mars surface materials apparent, but does not show natural color as seen by the human eye.
The image was taken on June 5, 2017, two months before the 5th anniversary of Curiosity’s landing near Mount Sharp on Aug. 6, 2017.
The HiRISE camera has been imaging Curiosity about every three months, to monitor the surrounding features for changes such as dune migration or mass wasting on steep slopes.