Stitched together from more than 1,000 photos, the Mars Curiosity Rover has released the most detailed image of the surface of our neighbouring planet.
The pictures were taken over the US Thanksgiving holiday in 2019 and was compiled into this incredible panorama in the following months. This was the opportune moment to take the photos as the team were away on their holidays, not issuing other instructions.
The composite photograph contains 1.8 billion pixels of Martian landscape and used the Mast Camera’s telephoto lens to produce it. A medium-angle lens was used to produce a lower-resolution image that includes the rover’s deck and arm.
“While many on our team were at home enjoying turkey, Curiosity produced this feast for the eyes,” said Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement. “This is the first time during the mission we’ve dedicated our operations to a stereo 360-degree panorama.”
Both images show the “Glen Torridon,” a region on the side of Mount Sharp on the planet’s surface.
It took more than 6 and a half hours over four days to capture the individual shots. The pictures were taken between noon and 2 p.m. local Mars time each day to ensure consistent lighting.