The Mars NASA’s Curiosity probe captured a stunning panoramic image of the red planet using its onboard navigation cameras, prompting the mission team to create a rare postcard of a view of Mars.
By combining two black and white photos taken at different times of the day, the team added blue, orange and green to develop an artistic interpretation of the mountain landscape.
“When the rover team viewed the panorama from Curiosity’s latest stopping point, the scenery was too beautiful to capture at the highest quality navigational cameras can,” NASA said.
“Many of the most impressive panoramic images of the rover come from the Mastcam color instrument, which has a much higher resolution than the navigation cameras. This is why the team added their own color to the last image…Shadows are not what the human eye sees; instead They represent the scene seen at different times of the day.”
The composite panorama image was captured at 8:30 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. local Mars time on November 16 to capture maximum detail under contrasting lighting conditions.
The photo was taken from the slopes of the 5-kilometre-high Mount Sharp, which Curiosity has been climbing for seven years.
The postcard was shared ahead of the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Curiosity rover, which took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on November 26, 2011.
The US space agency has sent the vehicle-sized rover to Mars to investigate and explore Gale Crater, specifically to see if Mars’ geology and climate in that region provide the conditions needed to support microbial life.
Their findings were also expected to help assess the suitability of the planet for future human exploration.
The initial two-year mission has been extended indefinitely, and the rover continues to help humanity better understand the habitat of Mars.
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