Curiosity’s First 360-Degree Color Panorama

Article written: 9 Aug , 2012
Updated: 26 Apr , 2016
by

Doesn’t Gale Crater look lovely this time of year? This is the first 360-degree panorama of color images taken by Curiosity’s color Mast Camera. The individual images used in this first panorama may only have been thumbnail-sized, but the effect is no less stunning.

(Click the image to panoramify.)

 The images were acquired on August 9 EDT. Although taken during late afternoon at Gale crater, the individual images still had to be brightened as Mars only receives half the amount of sunlight that Earth does.

Full-size 1200×1200 pixel images will be available at a later date.

The two grey patches in the foreground at left and right are the result of Curiosty’s sky crane rockets blasting the Martian surface. Scientists will be investigating these areas as they expose material that was previously hidden beneath Mars’ red dust.

The base of Gale Crater’s 3.4-mile (5.5 km) high central peak, named Mt. Sharp in honor of planetary science pioneer Robert P. Sharp, can be seen in the distance at center. (Check out an oblique view of a portion of Mt. Sharp acquired by HiRISE camera here.)

You can play with an interactive 360-degree panorama at the NASATech website, put together by John O’Connor, and if you look closely, visible is the full JPL logo on the middle right wheel — in Morse Code!

As always, you can find more news from the MSL mission here.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

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16 Responses

  1. There’s a notable dark mountain on the horizon above the high gain antenna to the left.

  2. I’m getting gready, will we get to see a moving image of the landscape?

  3. lcrowell says

    This looks like the perfect landing spot. It appears to be almost perfectly flat.
    LC

  4. Sanch007 says

    Aeolis Mons

  5. Dampe says

    Geez, they could have aimed the camera a few degrees higher… Still this is one sexy martian image!

  6. SJStar says

    There are more things in the universe than Mars…

  7. $29754628 says

    Anyone know what the approximate temperature is at this site?

  8. Member
    IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

    The temperature range at Gale Crater is from −90°C to 0°C.

  9. Member
    Aqua4U says

    Thanks for the images… I can’t get enough of them!

    I took a closer look at the pebbles and chunks of soil that landed on Curiosity’s deck during the landing. Those images from the JPL web page on Sol 2. Those particles and chunks number in the hundreds? Then I took a look at some of the closeup images of the soil around Curiosity… and sure enough, there are marks where dust was disturbed by flying debris particles.

  10. lcrowell says

    So when is Curiosity going to move? At some point the rover has to rove.
    LC

    • Member
      IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

      The first drive will be carried out after the engineers have finished conducting tests to ensure that the rover is in a “safe state” before moving it beyond its original landing position.

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