360 degrees of lovely Gale Crater
By Rebecca Boyle Posted 08.09.2012
Curiosity’s First Panorama This is the first 360-degree panorama in color of Curiosity’s landing site in Gale Crater on Mars. The panorama was made from 130 different 144-pixel by 144-pixel thumbnails taken by the Mast Camera. Click here to expand it
. Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials. NASA/JPL-Caltech
After a couple days of black-and-white imagery and blurry color thumbnails, the Mars rover Curiosity has downlinked its first full-color, 360-degree view of its new home in Gale Crater. Click past the jump to enlarge the whole thing–it’s incredible.
The image was brightened during its processing, because it’s not actually this sunny on Mars. The planet is another 50-ish million miles from the sun, and it only receives half the sunlight Earth does.
Read more : http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-08/mars-rover-curiosity-sends-first-full-color-panorama-its-new-martian-home