I'm so excited I might burst. The first images from Curiosity's cameras rained down to Earth in the middle of last night, after a 14 minute journey from the red planet. Here they are, in all their glory. Larger, color images will be available next week. Let the imagination soar!!

Curiosity's Parachute

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Captures Curiosity's Parachute just before landing on the surface of Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech

first image from Mars' Curiosity, Aug. 6th, 2012

This was the first image to return from Mars' Curiosity: A view out the back. You can see the camera still has its dust cover over the lens (secured in place with three knobs at 2, 4, and 9 o'clock). Those clever engineers... they think of everything. NASA/JPL-Caltech Aug. 6th, 2012

Adjusted Curiosity image

The rover's images are taken with a fisheye lens to maximize the amount of information they can obtain. But the resulting images are warped, so to help us get a more intuitive look at Mars' surface, engineers linearized the previous image to come up with this. Keep in mind these are still the first, low-resolution images to return to Earth. We'll be getting better high resolution images later in the week. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity captures its own shadow

Curiosity captures its own shadow. NASA/JPL-Caltech Aug. 5th, 2012

Other neat tidbits from Curiosity:

Caleb Sharf's Life Unbounded has a great map of the various landing sites and how Curiosity's locale relates.

And in case you missed the live feed of the Mars team as Curiosity landed and sent back the first images depicted here, Joanne Manaster posted a video of it over at PsiVid.