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The Heights of Mount Sharp
The Heights of Mount Sharp (click to enlarge)

The Heights of Mount Sharp
Date: 20 Aug 2012

With the addition of four high-resolution Navigation Camera, or Navcam, images, taken on Aug. 18 (Sol 12), Curiosity's 360-degree landing-site panorama now includes the highest point on Mount Sharp visible from the rover. Mount Sharp's peak is obscured from the rover's landing site by this highest visible point.

The Martian mountain rises 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) above the floor of Gale Crater. Geological deposits near the base of the Mount Sharp are the destination of the Curiosity rover's mission.

The pointy rim of Gale Crater can be seen as a lighter strip along the top right of the image. Mount Sharp can be seen along the top left. This full-resolution image shows part of the deck of NASA's Curiosity rover taken from one of the rover's Navigation cameras looking toward the back left of the rover.

The image is a cylindrical projection, which shows the horizon as flat. A cylindrical projection is created by computing the azimuth and elevation of each pixel in the original image and remapping it onto a virtual cylinder. Pixels in the same row of this image are at the same elevation, and pixels in the same column of this image are at the same azimuth.

Along with the four Navcam images taken on the 18th, each 1,024 by 1,024 pixels, this mosaic includes 26 Navcam images, of equivalent resolution, taken late at night on Aug. 7 PDT (early morning Aug. 8 EDT). Seams between the images have been minimized as much as possible.

The previously released, 26-image Navcam mosaic can be found at:

Mars Science Laboratory is a project of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The mission is managed by JPL. Curiosity was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit:,, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Last Updated: 20 Aug 2012