NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has for the first time used the camera on its arm to take photos at night, illuminated by white lights and ultraviolet lights on the instrument.
Scientists used the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument for a close-up nighttime look at a rock target called "Sayunei," in an area where Curiosity's front-left wheel had scuffed the rock to provide fresh, dust-free materials to examine. The site is near where the rover team plans to begin using Curiosity to drill into a rock in coming weeks. The images of the rock Sayunei and of MAHLI's calibration target were taken on Jan. 22 (PST) and received on Earth Jan. 23.
Curiosity is the largest unmanned rover ever sent beyond Earth. It is roughly the size of a Volkswagen Bug and weighs about a ton.