Curiosity Tracks and Descent Stage Debris
Curiosity Tracks and Descent Stage Debris
ESP_028678_1755  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
This is another HiRISE image acquired to provide more coverage of the landing region in the narrow color swath.

The new color coverage reveals new dark and relatively blue spots that are arrayed radially downrange from the impact site of the descent stage or sky crane system (see this image for previously identified spots. The largest spot in this new subimage (right edge) was identified previously. (Click here for an unannotated version).

After gently placing the rover on the surface, the descent stage was programmed to fly away and crash at a safe distance, to ensure the landing site was not contaminated by fuel. Debris from this crash then made secondary impacts, which are dark and relatively blue because they disturb the bright dust covering the surface.

The image also provides another look (black and white only) at the rover tracks as they appeared on September 8, 2012.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (17 October 2012)
Acquisition date
08 September 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
267.3 km (166.1 miles)

Original image scale range
28.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~85 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

Solar longitude
168.1°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  15.0°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (710MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (534MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (370MB)
non-map           (328MB)

IRB color
map projected  (200MB)
non-map           (429MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (196MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (186MB)

RGB color
non map           (423MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.