by Brooks Hays
Greenbelt, Md. (UPI) Apr 25, 2013
For the first time, NASA's Curiosity rover has captured images of an asteroid from the surface of Mars -- two of them, in fact.
The imagery recorded by Curiosity and beamed back to Earth feature Ceres and Vesta, two of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt that runs between between Mars and Jupiter. This Curiosity first was also a bit of a coincidence, as the SUV-sized rover had aimed its cameras at the Martian sky in order to snap shots of the Red Planet's two moons, not hunt for asteroids whizzing by.
"This imaging was part of an experiment checking the opacity of the atmosphere at night in Curiosity's location on Mars, where water-ice clouds and hazes develop during this season," camera team member Mark Lemmon, of Texas A&M University, explained in a statement. "The two Martian moons were the main targets that night, but we chose a time when one of the moons was near Ceres and Vesta in the sky."
NASA is currently on its way to get an even closer look at this two giant space rocks. NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbited the 350-mile-wide Vesta asteroid in 2011 and 2012, and it is preparing to orbit the 590-mile-wide Ceres in 2015.
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|