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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Mars 360

Mars 360

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, September 7, 2018/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, art and design, environment, adventure

               A 360-degree Mars panorama on Vera Rubin Ridge from the Curiosity Rover, 8-9-2018 (credit: JPL)

NASA's Curiosity Rover has produced a panoramic photograph of its current location in Gale Crater on Mars. The rover surveyed its surroundings from its current location on Vera Rubin Ridge.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the scene is presented with a color adjustments to approximate how rocks and sand would appear under daytime conditions on Earth. The panorama includes umber skies, darkened by a fading global dust storm that covered most of the Red Planet for the past month. It also shows the mast camera of the rover itself with a thin layer of dust on rover's deck. In the foreground is the robot's most recent drilling target named 'Stoer', after a town in Scotland where early discoveries about early life on Earth were made in lakebed sediments.

Communications with NASA's other Mars rover, Opportunity driving through Endeavour Crater on Mars, have been lost since encountering the global dust storm that began this summer. Opportunity's expected 'life-span' had originally been estimated in months but the sturdy robot has survived for nearly 14 years gathering data on Mars until now.



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