In its basic form, the hand lens (usually worn hanging from the individual's neck) has been an essential tool of geologists for many years. It allows close-up magnification of the rock being studied to determine its elemental structure and probable means of formation. On the MSL, the MAHLI will provide the scientific teams on Earth with the ability to get extreme close-up views and images of rocks, soil and even dust. The camera lens, measuring four centimeters in diameter, will be self-focusing, and the camera will be capable of taking images of formations as small as 12.5 microns. The MAHLI will be able to examine objects using both white light and ultraviolet light, to better determine whether water has contributed to the specific areas being explored.
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