The Curiosity rover has been on Mars for nearly a year, and cruising around its landing site in Mars’ Gale Crater and inching ever closer to Mount Sharp. A few months after it landed, Curiosity hunkered down at a site called Rocknest. There, the rover zapped the ground with a laser and dug at the soil, doing its darndest to help us understand the evolution of the Martian surface, and to look for the signs that water once flowed through Gale Crater. While it worked, cameras aboard Curiosity snapped photos of its surroundings—hundreds of them. Now, NASA has stitched those photos together to create this huge gigapixel panorama of the vista from Rocknest.
People have already made several panoramas from the images steadily streaming back from the Mars rover, but this is the first put out by NASA. This official scrollable, zoomable, high-resolution panorama comes with helpful annotations to aid you in finding some of the features of note—like the burn scars from the laser shots, or the Morse code message that Curiosity lays down as it rolls.
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