And Now … in Color: Curiosity's Landing Site on Mars

And Now … in Color: Curiosity's Landing Site on Mars

NASA continues to add astonishing images to its library of photos taken by cameras aboard the Mars Curiosity rover.  Yesterday it released a black and white panorama of Gale Crater where the rover landed.  Today, the panorama is in color.

One part of the image shows Mt. Sharp, Curiosity’s destination once it is checked out and starts roving.   Curiosity’s science team asked for patience as they get the rover ready to explore its surroundings, suggesting it may be some time before Curiosity reaches that mountain, shown in the image below.

Image credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mike Malin, principal investigator of Mastcam from Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS), said that as good as this image is, “this is only one-eighth the potential resolution of images from this camera.”

The full size 360 degree panorama is available on NASA’s website (it loses a lot of its value if resized to fit on this page) was stitched together by scientists here on Earth from 130 thumbnail versions taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Curiosity.  Selected full frames from the panorama are expected to be transmitted to Earth later.  The gray splotches are where the rocket engines on Curiosity’s Sky Crane blasted away the surface material.  NASA said the images were “brightened” because they were taken in the Martian afternoon and Mars receives only half the sunlight of Earth.

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