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NASA Mars Rover Snaps Glorious 1.8 Billion Pixel Panorama

March 5th 20__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Hard Science
NASA/JPL

Enhance!

NASA’s Curiosity rover snapped more than 1,000 images on Thanksgiving day 2019, which teams back on Earth composed into a glorious 360 degree panorama of the Martian landscape.

“While many on our team were at home enjoying turkey, Curiosity produced this feast for the eyes,” Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. “This is the first time during the mission we’ve dedicated our operations to a stereo 360-degree panorama.”

Feast for the Eyes

The 1.8 billion pixel composite shows a region on the side of Mount Sharp, called “Glen Torridon,” which that offers gorgeous vistas of low-lying clay and larger ridges in the distance.

It also shows a massive 3-mile wide impact crater called the “Slangpos crater” that was likely caused by a dramatic event involving a massive object in the planet’s past.

It took more than 6.5 hours to snap all the photos, a task completed by programming Curiosity’s Mastcam, the rover’s towering ‘head’ that pokes out above its body. Each image was taken between noon and 2pm Mars time to ensure the images were in focus and fully lit — an effort which, in our opinion, paid off perfectly.

READ MORE: Curiosity Mars rover snaps its highest-resolution panorama yet [Jet Propulsion Laboratory]

More on Curiosity: Glitch Puts NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Out of Commission