The surface of Mars like you’ve never seen before. Watch the stunning 1.8 billion-pixel panorama of 1,200 images captured by NASA Curiosity rover
We don’t always appreciate how mind-blowing the Red Planet is until we see it up close. The NASA Curiosity rover has been exploring the Gale crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission since launched on November 26, 2011, from Cape Canaveral. After a 350 million miles journey, the rover eventually touched down on the Red Planet.
Ever since its launch, the Curiosity rover has captured its highest-resolution panorama yet of the Martian surface. Composed of more than 1,000 images and carefully assembled over the ensuing months, the larger version of this composite contains nearly 1.8 billion pixels of Martian landscape.
Millions of miles away in space, we’re looking at the surface of a planet people only managed to peek a few hundred years ago.
The panorama showcases “Glen Torridon,” a region on the side of Mount Sharp that Curiosity is exploring. The panorama was taken between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019, when the Curiosity team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the rover would be sitting still with few other tasks to do while it waited for the team to return and provide its next commands, the rover had a rare chance to imagine its surroundings several days in a row without moving.
In the video below, NASA Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada guides us through a tour of the rover’s view of the Martian surface. To go along with the stunning 1.8-billion-pixel image, this new video offers a sweeping view of the Red Planet.