But first let me a selfie.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has an incredible selfie picture during an “unprecedented” massive dust storm on Mars.
The image, a composite made by the scientist Seán Doran, who works with NASA’S Jet Propulsion Lab to create and process of the photography, shows the $2.5 billion research vehicle stylin’ and profilin’ in the wake of the epic dust storm happening on the Red Planet.
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“It is mixed from the shot,” Doran told the Daily Mail when asked how he created the image. “The arm moves as it takes approximately 100 photos to create a full 360 (degree view).”
The Rover is currently in Gale Crater on Mars, a 96-metre-wide valley that researchers once believed is set into a giant lake.
The dust storm has wreaked havoc on Mars, with NASA holding a press conference last week to give an update about how it is affecting the business on Mars. Fortunately, the Rover is able to function, because it is based on plutonium and not have sunlight as an energy source. However, the Opportunity rover on Mars for almost 15 years, has not been so lucky, effectively going into hibernation during the storm.
“The storm is one of the most intense ever observed on the Red Planet,” NASA said in a statement last week. “In June 10, covering more than 15.8 million square miles (41 million square kilometers) – about the environment of North America and Russia together. It has blocked so much in the sun, it effectively turned the day into night for the Occasion, which is located near the center of the storm, the inside of Mars’ Perseverance Valley.”
MASSIVE MARS DISCOVERY: ORGANIC MOLECULES OF FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE FOR OUR SEARCH FOR LIFE’ TO BE FOUND BY THE NASA ROVER
Apart from the photogenic prowess, the Curiosity rover made global headlines earlier this month when NASA announced that it had found organic molecules on Mars, providing fresh insight into the Red Planet.
“We found organic molecules in the rocks of an ancient lake bed,” said Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard. A variety of molecules have been identified, she added.
The rocks are billions of years old, according to NASA.
While NASA was at pains to explain that it is not has life been discovered on Mars, the organic molecules can provide important clues.
“Organic compounds are essential to our search for life,” said Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at Goddard.
Described as the most technologically advanced rover ever built, Curiosity, launched on Nov. 26, 2011. The rover landed on Mars’ Gale Crate on Aug. 6, 2012, with the objective of determining whether Mars was ever able to support microbial life.
The rover has already delivered other important scientific results. In 2013, the analysis of a rock sample collected by the vehicle revealed that ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. In 2014, the rover measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it. At that moment, the robot laboratory has also detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the drill.
In December 2017, NASA announced that the building of a new rover to search for life on Mars, called Mars 2020.
Fox News’ James Robbers, contributed to the article. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia