Check out NASA's Curiosity rover on its vacation on Mars

Like most humans on Earth last week, NASA's Curiosity rover took a few weeks off. After soaking up the Martian scenery, it beamed back holiday videos from its cameras. Thursday, NASA Published Peaceful Alien Scenes.

In many respects, the dawn-to-dusk videos show the shadow of a six-wheeled rover over rugged terrain. „When NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is not in motion, it works well as a sundial,” space agency officials wrote in a description of the videos. The rover also caught a cosmic ray.

Curiosity captured the videos between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Martian time on Nov. 8, the car-sized rover's 4,002nd Martian day. Mission experts on Earth deployed Curiosity's front and rear hazard-avoidance cameras (HASCAMs) to view the landscape. This was one of the last commands NASA sent to Curiosity before the craft entered two weeks of rest.

Dawn to Dusk on Mars

Curiosity's shadow glides across the Martian surface in these images taken by Hazcam in front of it.

The orbit of Mars caused a pause in the transmission of commands. The Red Planet was moving behind the Sun. During this event, known as a Mars solar conjunction, swimming super-hot plasma around the Sun's outer atmosphere poses a risk of interfering with messages from Earth to Mars. The teammates waited until November 25 It should start running its scientific work. So, like many people now, passing the days before the New Year, Curiosity was on hiatus.

Both videos show before and after views of Curiosity. In the first video, the front Hazcam looks towards Gediz Vallis, the Mount Sharp valley of Mars. This 3-mile-high mountain rises from the basin of Gale Crater, home to Curiosity since 2012.

Curiosity's rear Huscam captured the shadow of the rover's rear in this 12-hour view on November 8.

In the other video, from the rear Haskam, the distant crater walls are visible, albeit faintly, and the viewer looks down the slope of Mount Sharp. To the left of the center of this video, during the 17th frame, a small black dot appears. According to NASA's explanation of the videos, a cosmic ray is the culprit.

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„Rover drivers typically rely on Curiosity's Hascams to detect rocks, slopes and other hazards,” according to NASA.

„But since the rover's other operations were deliberately curtailed just before docking, the team decided to use Hazcams to record 12-hour snapshots for the first time,” officials added.

Curiosity is showing signs of aging. NASA officials explain that the „speckled appearance” of the images comes from dust that has accumulated on Curiosity's lenses since it began its grand tour of Gale Crater 11 years ago.

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