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WATCH: Mars Curiosity Rover Snaps 1.8 Billion-Pixel Panorama of Martian Surface

(YouTube screenshot)

The Mars Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet in August of 2012 for a six-month mission, is still going strong after more than seven years of operating in the harsh Martian conditions. To date, it has snapped more than 656,000 photos and made several startling discoveries. These include:

  • Organic Carbon Found in Mars Rocks. …
  • Present and Active Methane in Mars’ Atmosphere. …
  • Radiation Could Pose Health Risks for Humans. …
  • A Thicker Atmosphere and More Water in Mars’ Past.

The little rover’s latest achievement is an astonishing panorama taken by its mast camera that gives a breathtaking view of the Martian surface.

NASA

NASA’s Curiosity rover captured its highest-resolution panorama yet of the Martian surface between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019. A version without the rover contains nearly 1.8 billion pixels; a version with the rover contains nearly 650 million pixels. Both versions are composed of more than 1,000 images that were carefully assembled over the following months.

The rover’s Mast Camera, or Mastcam, used its telephoto lens to produce the panorama and relied on its medium-angle lens to produce a lower-resolution panorama that includes the rover’s deck and robotic arm.

The link above leads to a super-cool interactive experience.

The Curiosity rover has revolutionized our understanding of Mars and its insights have given scientists hope that someday soon we will find evidence that either life exists today on the red planet or that it once flourished millions of years ago.