This image is a combination of two images taken from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th day of it’s Martian tour (September 9th, 2012). The image shows the three left wheels of the Curiosity Rover. The hill that you can see off in the distance below the rover is the lower slope of Mount Sharpe.
The camera is part of a plethora of tools that are located on the robot arm. The MAHLI is designed to take close-up, high resolution images of the rocks and soil at the Gate Crater field site. The camera can focus on any target from a range of .8 inches or 2.1 centimeters. The camera can be used for many other things, including taking pictures of the rover from different angles.
This is just another one of the arsenal of tools that the Curiosity Rover contains that will bring back information from the Red Planet. I know with each set of pictures that comes out, the more and more excited I get about being able to see a completely different world. It is different whenever you see these types of things on a computer generated movie or read about it in a story. Your imagination can run wild in these situations, but the photos coming from the Curiosity rover and NASA, you actually get to see what the rover is going through on a planet other then our own. I don’t know how anyone could not get excited about the knowledge we will learn from NASA’s push in this direction.