Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M

While busy at work on surveying Mars, the NASA Curiosity rover has done some astronomical viewing too – snagging a first asteroid image from the surface of the Red Planet.

According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the machine has captured a night-sky image that includes two asteroids: Ceres and Vesta, plus one of Mars’ two moons, Deimos – which may have been an asteroid before being captured into orbit around Mars.

The image was taken after nightfall on the 606th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (April 20, 2014, PDT).

Always on the lookout, and in other camera pointings the same night, the Mastcam also imaged Mars’ larger moon, Phobos, plus the planets Jupiter and Saturn.

In total, quite the catch!

 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Meanwhile, the meandering Curiosity rover is also imaging surrounding terrain as it continues its wheeling about Mars.

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