Latest View of Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater
Latest View of Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater
ESP_040770_1755  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
We periodically image the Curiosity rover and its surroundings, monitoring for changes such as from active dunes.

This is the latest image, with an enhanced-color cutout centered on the rover. Oddly, the rover’s tracks are not visible nearby, maybe because the surfaces it has driven over lately don't make high-contrast lines, or maybe some blowing dust has recently erased the tracks.

With HiRISE’s capability of high resolution (down to 25 cm/pixel) and ability to image the same area periodically, our team is keeping track of the Curiosity (MSL) and Opportunity (MER) rovers. For Curiosity, we recently acquired our first image in four months and the first in 2015. Here we see the rover parked over dark sand in a valley bounded by light-toned rock outcrops. These rocks make up the “Pahrump” member of the Murray Formation, a suite of sandstones, siltstones, and calcium sulfate veins that compose the lowermost exposed rocks of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) in Gale Crater. This image also addresses several objectives besides keeping track of the rover location, such as the monitoring of nearby active sand dunes and the degree to which rover tracks are preserved on the underlying terrain. Unlike other regions of for which Curiosity has traversed, here the rover tracks are not apparent, likely because the disturbed, underlying, dark sand is similar in tone to that on the surface. (Nathan Bridges)

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (22 April 2015)
Acquisition date
08 April 2015

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
268.5 km (166.9 miles)

Original image scale range
29.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~90 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
33°, with the Sun about 57° above the horizon

Solar longitude
322.2°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  344.1°
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   (860MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (471MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (425MB)
non-map           (377MB)

IRB color
map projected  (167MB)
non-map           (307MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (222MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (216MB)

RGB color
non map           (323MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DTM 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.