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.”
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.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.