Friday, August 10, 2012

Mars: The incredible panorama from Nasa's Curiosity Rover on the surface of the Red Planet

Exciting images from NASA's Curiosity rover show exactly what your eyes would see if you were standing on the surface of Mars on a late afternoon day.

The excellent panoramic image is the first colour landscape photograph provided from the $2.5 billion Martian rover and was taken with the probe's MastCams which extend above the the spacecraft.

The panoramic mosaic, comprising 130 separate images that Curiosity captured with its newly activated navigation cameras, shows a rust-colored, pebble-strewn expanse stretching to a wall of the crater's rim in one direction and a tall mound of layered rock in another.

That formation, named Mount Sharp, stands at the center of the vast, ancient impact crater and several miles from where Curiosity touched down at the end of an eight-month voyage across 352 million mile (566 million km) of space.

The layers of exposed rock are thought to hold a wealth of Mars' geologic history, making it the main target of exploration for scientists who will use the rover to seek evidence of whether the planet most similar to Earth might now harbor or once have hosted key ingredients for microbial life. Read More