In Brief

Dust Devil on Mars Captured in New Light in Stunning Mosaic Photo

Dust Devil on Mars Mosaic
Mars' Opportunity Rover navigates away from a dust devil on Knudsen Ridge in Marathon Valley. The image, a mosaic created by stitching together and colorizing six images from the rover’s navcam taken April 1, 2016, includes an artificial sky and a 10 degree rotation of the original images. (Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Ken Kremer/ Di Lorenzo)

An amazing photo mosaic gives a rover's-eye view of a dust devil that swirled across Mars last month.

Opportunity photographed the dust devil with its navigation camera on April 1, as the six-wheeled robot explored steep slopes along the rim of the Red Planet's Endeavour Crater.

New Jersey-based scientist and journalist Ken Kremer and his imaging partner Marco Di Lorenzo colorized six of Opportunity's navcam images, rotated them 10 degrees and stitched them together to create the mosaic.

Ken Kremer and Marco Di Lorenzo created this route map for NASA's Opportunity Mars rover using NASA images. (Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Ken Kremer/ Di Lorenzo)

The duo also made a new route map, showing where the golf-cart-size Opportunity has gone since it landed on Mars in January 2004, a few weeks after its twin, Spirit.

Spirit and Opportunity set out on three-month missions to hunt for signs of past liquid water on Mars. Both robots found plenty of such evidence, and just kept rolling along; Spirit stopped communicating with its handlers in 2010, and Opportunity is still going strong.

To date, Opportunity has covered 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers) of Martian terrain — the greatest distance ever traveled by a vehicle on the surface of another world.

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.