Curiosity has sent us earthlings some impressive images from Mars before – but the latest one probably beats everything you’ve seen before.
NASA’s spacecraft Curiosity has sent us a new panoramic image from Mars. And it’s not just any image. It consists of over 1200 individual photos and has a resolution of a whopping 1.8 billion pixels. And the photo opportunity itself took a long time, in total, Curiosity took photos for 6.5 hours – spread out over four days.
The panorama was taken between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019, when the Curiosity team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the rover would be sitting still with few other tasks to do while it waited for the team to return and provide its next commands, the rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings several days in a row without moving.
“This is the first time during the assignment that we are creating a stereo 360-degree panorama,”
– NASA Researcher Ashwin Vasavada.
So what is it that the Curiosity rover captured in the picture? It shows a region called “Glen Torridon,” a region on the side of Mount Sharp that Curiosity is exploring. What distinguishes the place is that it is rich in clay minerals in layers of sedimentary rock. This makes the site interesting for planetary geologists. Curiosity has been provided valuable insight into the climate on Mars.