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Curiosity’s view of Gale Crater from its new heights on Mount Sharp

Low resolution version of panorama
Click for full resolution version of panorama. For the original images, go here, here, and here.

Overview map

Cool image time! The panorama above was created from three pictures taken on Februay 13, 2024 by the left navigation camera on the Mars rover Curiosity (available here, here, and here). It looks to the north, across Gale Crater and its nearest rim, about twenty miles away. The red dotted line indicates the approximate route Curiosity took to get to this point. The yellow lines on the overview map to the right show the approximate area covered by the panorama.

The images were part of the routine mosaics created by both the left and right navigation cameras for helping engineers plot the rover’s future travels. The pictures that look back at the far rim however also provide important atmospheric data. In this case, the haze tells the scientists how much dust is in the atmosphere. It is presently winter in Gale Crater, which also corresponds to the dust storm season. Thus, the view is very hazy.

Curiosity will likely remain at this location for several more weeks, as the science team is about to begin another drilling campaign. Note the large dark area on the cliff face on the right that is also level with the terrace where Curiosity presently sits. The scientists want to get core data of this layer, and they think they are at a good spot to do so.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

One comment

  • That is a very cool image(s). I think it’s neat that it appears we can see where Peace Vallis makes its way through the Gale Crater wall in the distance. (To see this it helps to dehaze the images somewhat.)

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