Curiosity rover’s stunning new Mars panorama is unlike any other

Brittany A. Roston - Feb 1, 2018, 5:51 pm CST
3
Curiosity rover’s stunning new Mars panorama is unlike any other

We have no shortage of pictures taken on Mars thanks to NASA’s hard work. You’ve no doubt seen many of them by now, possibly even large panoramas created by stitching many images together. Those images probably all looked similar: dusty and rocky with a distinct orange hue and, maybe, reddish soil. That’s what makes Curiosity rover’s latest panorama so stunning — it looks nothing like the others.

Mars is known as the Red Planet, but you’d be hard-pressed to guess that based on a newly published panorama created from 16 stitched Mars landscape images. The images were taken by Curiosity from Mars’ Vera Rubin Ridge; in it we see the Gale Crater’s rim and interior.

NASA points out certain features in the landscape panorama, such as the Ellipse edge crater, Murray Buttes, Ireson Hill, Peace Vallis Channel, Namib Dune, and more. NASA provides a full-resolution version of the panorama with feature annotations here, plus a somewhat large panorama without the annotations here.

You’ve no doubt spotted the big difference between this panorama and past images NASA has published of the Mars landscape: it features grayish rocks and a blue sky. According to NASA, this is because it has white-balanced the images so that the rocks look the way they would in typical daylight conditions on Earth.


Must Read Bits & Bytes