NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a breathtaking panorama of the inside of the Gale Crater, as snapped by the Curiosity Rover.
NASA has released a breathtaking panorama video of Mars!
NASA reports its Curiosity Rover took 129 individual images while it traveled up the side of Mars’ Mount Sharp. The detailed compilation shows at 360-degree view of part of the red plant’s Gale Crater, including Rafael Navarro Mountain – named in honor of a late NASA scientist.
According to NASA, the panorama reveals an ancient environment that has dried up over time. They believe the rocks will tell them how this once-wet planet changed into the rocky, dry land it is today.
To celebrate the NASA Rover’s ninth — ninth! — year surveying the red planet, the clip shows off where the Rover has been, where it’s going, and what we’ve learned in the last decade. This includes the breathtaking fact that, on a clear winter’s day when there’s no dust in the air, you can see close to 20 miles.
The panorama, as reported by Gizmodo, shows Curiosity’s journey up the side of Mount Sharp, and the detour it had to take in order to avoid a large sheet of Martian sand. As the rover has journeyed up the side, the composition of the rocks had changed from a clay-rich base to one full of sulphide. As Deputy Project Scientist Abigail Fraeman explains, researchers are hoping to learn a little more about how Mars lost its water (the Gale Crater used to be a lake, after all) and how long it took before it became the dry desert planet we see before us.
Arsalan Ahmad is a Research Engineer working on 2-D Materials, graduated from the Institute of Advanced Materials, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan.