Sunday, August 12, 2012

V - The Ten Instruments Mars Rover Curiosity Carries : Mars Hand Lens Imager

Mars Hand Lens Imager


Sometimes, the tech of mere mortals can stand up to an uber geologist like Curiosity. The hand lens, for example, is an important, commonly used geological tool. And the Mars rover will be carrying its own robotic version on board.
The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will help give an extremely close view of samples to scientists back at home. Extremely close: MAHLI will be able to take color images as small as 12.5 micrometers (less than human hair size). A traditionally white, flashlight-type light source and an ultraviolet, black light source will allow it to work day and night. The UV light also has an ulterior function: it can light up samples to detect carbonate and evaporite minerals, which would be evidence that water helped form Mars.

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