This image of a U.S. penny on a calibration target was taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard NASA's Curiosity rover in Gale Crater on Mars. At 14 micrometers per pixel, this is the highest-resolution image that MAHLI can acquire.
This image was obtained as part of a test on the 411th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 2, 2013), the first time the rover's robotic arm placed MAHLI close enough to a target to obtain the camera's highest-possible resolution. It shows that, during the penny's 14 months (so far) on Mars, it has accumulated Martian dust and clumps of dust, despite its vertical mounting position on the calibration target for MAHLI.
This United States penny from 1909 is part of a series of markings and objects meant to help calibrate the cameras that Curiosity is equipped with.
Before and After
For more Before/After images of the rover, see:
Look at what two years on Mars did to the Curiosity Rover
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
IS A 1909 VDB LINCOLN CENT GOING TO MARS?
THE CURIOSITY'S 1909 CENT PICKS UP LAYER OF MARTIAN DUST
Wayne Homren, Editor
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