Mars Rover Curiosity's Spectacular New Panorama (Photo)

Mars Landing Site Panorama
This color panorama shows a 360-degree view of the landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover, including the highest part of Mount Sharp visible to the rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This stunning new color photo mosaic from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows a 360-degree panorama of what the rover can see from its landing site inside the huge Gale Crater.

The highest part of Mount Sharp visible to the rover can be seen in the image as well as parts of the vehicle itself. The visible part of Mount Sharp is about 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from the rover in this image, which was unveiled along with other magnificent new Mars photos from Curiosity on Aug. 27.

The rover’s Mast Camera, only 34 millimeters in size, took the images to form the mosaic. About 130 images were taken on Aug. 8, and an additional 10 were taken in Aug. 18, to create the mosaic of the horizon. The color was enhanced to help scientists analyze the terrain as the rover moves toward the mountain.

The $2.5 billion Mars rover Curiosity landed on the Red Planet on Aug. 5 and is beginning a two-year mission to explore Gale Crater. The 1-ton rover is the size of a small car and carries 10 instruments to determine if Mars was ever, or is now, capable of supporting primitive microbial life.

For complete coverage of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover mission, visit here.

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