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Curiosity beams back high res zooms of Martian mountains

The image above comes from Curiosity’s 100-millimeter telephoto camera, a cool addition to the rover that gives it better photographic abilities than any other previous Martian rover.

The literally otherworldly landscape has been colorized both for visual appeal and to highlight geologic differences in the soil types. “It’s probably a little bit more pastel and pinker than it would be to your eye,” geologist Mike Malin said during an August 27 press briefing. His company, Malin Space Science Systems, built four of the cameras for the rover mission, including the Mars Descent Imager that documented Curiosity’s landing in high-res color.

For scale, Malin noted that the black dot in the center of the white square (blown up in detail, below right) is a boulder with roughly the same dimensions of the car-size Curiosity itself. The boulder is about 10 kilometers away at the base of Mount Sharp, the eventual destination for the rover and the planned focus of its exploration.

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