Curiosity’s First 360-Degree Color Panorama

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

Jason Major

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!

Recent Posts

Could Martian atmospheric samples teach us more about the Red Planet than surface samples?

NASA is actively working to return surface samples from Mars in the next few years,…

2 hours ago

Black Holes are Firing Beams of Particles, Changing Targets Over Time

Black holes seem to provide endless fascination to astronomers. This is at least partly due…

14 hours ago

Another Giant Antarctic Iceberg Breaks Free

On May 20th, 2024, an iceberg measuring 380 square kilometers (~147 mi2) broke off the…

1 day ago

Fish are Adapting to Weightlessness on the Chinese Space Station

Four zebrafish are alive and well after nearly a month in space aboard China's Tiangong…

1 day ago

Marvel at the Variety of Planets Found by TESS Already

The hunt for new exoplanets continues. On May 23rd, an international collaboration of scientists published…

1 day ago

NASA is Practicing for the Moon With Partial Space Suits

In just a few short years, NASA hopes to put humans back on the lunar…

1 day ago