Image of the Day: Curiosity from orbit

There's a small silver dot in the image above: it's Curiosity, on the surface of Mars, as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 11. If you look closely, you can also see the rover's tracks in the Martian dust, and the donuts that it creates whenever it rotates in place.

Also on April 11, the rover itself used its forward navigation camera to take a picture of what it's looking at:

I don't know about you, but I find this pretty trippy to think about. Mars is nearly at its absolute closest approach to Earth right now, but that's still just over 54 million kilometers distant. And we're getting a picture of a Volkswagen-sized robot from orbit, at the same time that we're seeing a picture of what that robot is looking at, exploring a place where no human has ever been.

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Via JPL

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