Test Image of Earth Rocks by Mars Camera
This view of terrestrial rocks was taken by a testing twin -- the "life test unit" -- of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory.
The rounded gray cobble at upper right is about 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) in its longest dimension. As a demonstration of how MAHLI's adjustable focus may be used on Mars, this image can be compared with PIA13584, a closer-up view of this same cobble revealing smaller details on its surface. The inscribed rectangle indicates the portion of the rock covered in the close-up view.
MAHLI is mounted at the end of the robotic arm on the Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover. By placing the camera at different distances from a target, researchers can obtain images showing broader context as well as finer detail.
This image was taken outside, under natural sunlight. The rocks at upper right and lower right are rhyolite. The one at upper left is basalt. The one at bottom left is sandstone.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, supplied MAHLI for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems