|The Martian landscape at Gale Crater. Part of Curiosity is visible at the bottom of the image. Click on the image for the full version. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech|
The image was taken using one of the rover's navigation cameras (Navcam Left) on 'sol 2' of the mission. A 'sol' is a martian day - about 24 hours and 40 minutes long.
The landscape you can see in the image is that of NASA's chosen landing site for Curiosity, Gale Crater. It's 96 miles in diameter and has a 'layered' mountain rising about 3 miles from the crater floor (see image below). This means that the rover will be able to assess the geology of Mars through analysing the layers forming the mountain.
The part of Gale Crater that Curiosity has landed in has shown (from satellite imagery) to be a location where water would have settled. This is key to Curiosity's task of determining whether microbial life is part of Mars' history.
|An image of Gale Crater on Mars. The circled area at the top left of the crater indicates the planned landing site for Curiosity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU|