Stunning New Panorama Shows the Hazy Distant Hills of Mars

by Nancy Atkinson on October 11, 2012

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This beautiful new panorama of the Curiosity rover’s view in Gale Crater of the distant hazy hills beyond that seem to call out, begging for exploration. “FINALLY, a spaceprobe takes a picture that shows Mars as it has burned in my mind all these years,” said Stuart Atkinson via Twitter, who created this mosaic from four separate raw color images taken by the rover. The images, just uploaded today to Earth, were taken on Sol 50 (Sept. 26, 2012) by the right MastCam on Curiosity. This provides a glimpse at the depth and distances the rover’s cameras can see, with those beckoning hills and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. The rover is looking towards the northeast.

Click the image to see the full, large view of the panorama. Almost enough to make you get those hiking boots out from the back of the closet!

Stu not only stitched together this image but also wrote a new poem about “The Watching Hills.”

An excerpt:

If you’d stood here a billion years ago,
Perhaps two, waves would have lapped gently
Around your feet – maybe higher,
Maybe rolled in slow martian motion past your knees,

And looking down you’d have seen stream-
Polished stones swimming past your boots,
Tumbling over and over and over…

…… all gone now.

Read the entire lovely poem here.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

bugzzz October 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM

that’s friggin amazing.

CallanTFC October 12, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Stunning. And I’m not much of one for poetry, but that was pretty good too!!

Misja van Laatum October 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Well, there’s my new desktop wallpaper :D

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