Illustrating MastCam Capabilities with a Terrestrial Scene
Illustrating MastCam Capabilities with a Terrestrial Scene

This figure shows images acquired through each of the eight filters in the filter wheel of the 34-millimeter-focal-length Mast Camera (Mastcam-34) on the Mars rover Curiosity. The image in the upper left was taken through a clear filter and shows the color that can be recreated from the Bayer color filter array on the detector. This color capability is essentially identical to that of consumer digital cameras. The other images show how the camera can take narrow wavelength (about 20 to 25 namometers wide) exposures through a variety of filters to build up a multispectral view. The filters in the near-visible infra red appear grey because the Bayer color array is essentially equally sensitive to those wavelengths. The apparently blank gray image is a neutral density filter that attenuates sunlight to one one-thousandth of its natural intensity, so will look dark except when viewing the sun.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built MastCam and two other cameras on Curiosity. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Page Last Updated: August 1st, 2013
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