NASA’s Curiosity rover captures high-resolution images of Mars


PTI, Mar 6, 2020, 3:20 PM IST

Washington: NASA’s Curiosity rover has captured its highest-resolution panorama yet of the Mars containing 1.8 billion pixels of the Red Planet’s landscape, the US space agency said.

The rover’s Mast Camera, or Mastcam, used its telephoto lens to produce the panorama composed of over 1,000 images taken between November 24 and December 1, last year.

Curiosity relied on its medium-angle lens to produce a lower-resolution, nearly 650-million-pixel panorama that includes the rover’s deck and robotic arm, NASA said in a statement.

Both panoramas showcase “Glen Torridon,” a region on the side of Mount Sharp that Curiosity is exploring.

The rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings from the same vantage point several days in a row when the mission team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday, NASA researchers said.

It required more than six-and-a-half hours over the four days for Curiosity to capture the individual shots, they said.

“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, which leads the Curiosity rover mission.

“This is the first time during the mission we’ve dedicated our operations to a stereo 360-degree panorama,” Vasavada said.

In 2013, Curiosity produced a 1.3-billion-pixel panorama using both Mastcam cameras.

Its black-and-white Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, provided images of the rover itself.

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