Nasa’s Curiosity Rover Martian sundial, capturing mesmerizing 12-hour time-lapse

NASA‘s Curiosity Mars rover has revealed an sudden expertise throughout its downtime on the Crimson Planet – it serves as a exceptional sundial.
Cameras aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover captured a 12-hour ‘Martian day’ from daybreak to nightfall on the crimson planet in November, as revealed by the company in late December.
Movies from the rover present its shadow transferring throughout the Martian floor throughout a 12-hour sequence whereas Curiosity remained parked.
NASA mentioned that the footage was taken through the photo voltaic conjunction, a biennial occasion when Earth and Mars are on reverse sides of the Solar.

On the 4,002nd Martian day of its mission, recorded on November 8, the rover used its Hazard-Avoidance Cameras (Hazcams) to movie fascinating black-and-white movies showcasing its shadow transferring throughout the Martian floor.
The choice to document these distinctive movies was a part of the ultimate instructions despatched to Curiosity simply earlier than the graduation of Mars photo voltaic conjunction, a part when the Solar positions itself between Earth and Mars. To mitigate potential interference with radio communications attributable to photo voltaic plasma, missions droop sending instructions to Mars spacecraft throughout this era. Nonetheless, common well being check-ins had been maintained to remain linked.
Usually, the Hazcams are utilized by rover drivers to establish potential obstacles like rocks and slopes. Nonetheless, with different rover actions deliberately minimized earlier than conjunction, the crew seized the chance to make use of the Hazcams for recording 12 hours of snapshots. The intention was to seize atmospheric phenomena similar to clouds or mud devils, offering priceless insights into the Martian climate.
The time-lapse captures the rover’s silhouette shifting because the Martian day progresses. Throughout dawn, the rover’s 7-foot (2-meter) robotic arm’s shadow strikes left, revealing Curiosity’s entrance wheels rising from the darkness. A round calibration goal on the robotic arm’s shoulder turns into seen, serving as a software for testing the accuracy of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, which detects chemical parts on the Martian floor.
In the course of the Martian day, the entrance Hazcam’s autoexposure algorithm adjusts to publicity instances of about one-third of a second. As night time falls, the publicity time exceeds a minute, introducing sensor noise or “scorching pixels,” resembling white snow throughout the ultimate picture. This sudden use of the rover highlights its versatility and provides a captivating dimension to its mission on Mars.
As an important part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, Curiosity, launched in 2011, holds the excellence of being deemed the “largest and most succesful rover ever despatched to Mars” by the area company.


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