NASA's Curiosity rover has taken its last selfie on Vera Rubin Ridge and descended toward a clay region of Mount Sharp. The twisting ridge on Mars has been the rover's home for more than a year, providing scientists with new samples - and new questions - to puzzle over.
On December 15 last year, Curiosity drilled its 19th sample at a location on the ridge called Rock Hall. On January 15, the spacecraft used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the end of its robotic arm to take a series of 57 pictures, which were stitched together into a selfie.
The "Rock Hall" drill hole is visible to the lower left of the rover in the image. The scene is dustier than usual at this time of year due to a regional dust storm, NASA said.
Curiosity has been exploring the ridge since September of 2017. It is now headed into the "clay-bearing unit," which sits in a trough just south of the ridge.
Clay minerals in this unit may hold more clues about the ancient lakes that helped form the lower levels on Mount Sharp.
(With inputs from NASA official site)