Mars Portraits

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Wired has a collection of lesser-seen images from the Mars Curiosity Rover. Over the last year, the incredible rover has drilled into rock, rolled around the surface of the red planet, and taken quite a few striking photos. Here are some good ones.

Mars Landscape

Mars Landscape

We think of the Red Planet as red but Curiosity shows that the Martian surface can come in a wide variety of chocolate browns, ruddy pinks, dusty yellows, and even greenish tinges. Here, the rover looks over a small rise towards the foothills of Mount Sharp.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curving Rock

Curving Rock

Curiosity inspects a nice rock formation just outside Yellowknife Bay.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Shattered Plain

Shattered Plain

Curiosity channels its inner Ansel Adams during its most northern sojourn in Yellowknife Bay.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Texture

Texture

The rover’s right Mastcam captures an interestingly textured rock.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Dusty Valve

Dusty Valve

Wires coil around Curiosity’s intake valve, which allows it to bring samples of the Martian soil to its inner laboratory instruments for analysis.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Drill and Lasers

Drill and Lasers

A line of small holes represent laser shots running up the right side of this image while a larger borehole from Curiosity’s drill occupies the lower left.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Turrent

Turret

The rover keeps a number of instruments on the “hand” of its long arm, seen here.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Rock Row

Rock Row

Looking like a small fence, a row of rocks lines up on the Martian ground.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Filter

Filter

The intake filter leading to Curiosity’s interior laboratory, which sifts out only the finest dust grains.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Foreground

Foreground

The rover looks out over a wide plain to the rim of Gale crater behind it.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Fish Eye

Fish Eye

A rounded black-and-white shot looking towards Mount Sharp, showing rocks and tracks in the foreground.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saying Hi

Saying Hi

On its 85th day on Mars, Curiosity tilted its handheld camera upside down and backwards and snapped a funny-looking selfie.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Color Vista

Color Vista

A beautiful view of the foothills of Mount Sharp.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Rock Close-Up

Rock Close-Up

Curiosity’s handheld MAHLI camera took very high magnification shots of this rock.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Rock Collection

Rock Collection

Mars is mostly covered in rocks. This small collection is indicative of most of the planet.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Brushes

Brushes

Two small brushes help clear the drilling residue from Curiosity’s boreholes.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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