Nasa's Stunning New Mars Photo Shows Mount Sharp With Earth-Like Lighting

Nasa has released a new, incredibly detailed picture of a giant mountain on Mars.

Mount Sharp, also known as Aeolis Mons, is located in Mars' enormous Gale Crater, and rises more than 3 miles above the surface.

The $2.5 billion rover Curiosity is currently perched on its slopes looking for chemical hints that life once existed on the planet.

It took the new photograph over dozens of separate exposures, using the 100-millimeter telephoto lens camera.

Nasa released the picture in a 'white balanced' version which shows what the mountain would look like under Earth lighting.

The effect is an eerie Earth-like image, but one which is also distinctly alien.

Nasa said of the effect:

"White-balancing helps scientists recognize rock materials based on their experience looking at rocks on Earth. The Martian sky would look more of a butterscotch color to the human eye. White balancing yields an overly blue hue in images that have very little blue information, such as Martian landscapes, because the white balancing tends to overcompensate for the low inherent blue content."

The space agency also released a real-colour version which shows the mountain as if it was taken by "a typical smart phone".

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