Curiosity and Mount Sharp

The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) has landed very successfully in Gale Crater on Mars and returned a few photos.

Mt. Sharp

More or less in the center of the crater is Mt. Sharp. This is one of the first photos returned showing the mountain. It doesn’t look very significant because it was taken through a wide-angle fish-eye lens and has been processed to remove the fish-eye distortion. Actually, it is about 15,000 ft above the crater floor.

I’m trying to visualize that by comparing it with something I’m familiar with. When I look north from Livermore towards Mount Diable (3,864 ft elevation) I see something like this (courtesy of Google Earth).

Mt. Diable from Livermore

Now the distance from Livermore to Mt. Diablo is approximately the same as the distance from Curiosity to Mt. Sharp. Courtesy of Google Mars, here is what that would look like.

Mt. Sharp from Curiosity

Another way to think about this is to mentally stretch Mt. Diablo up almost four times. Or replace Mt. Diablo with Mt. Rainier. My approximations may be off, but the point is Mt. Sharp is definitely larger than it appears in that first photo.

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