After months of steady progress, NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached the summit of Vera Rubin Ridge Ridge. And like the good mountaineer he is, the rover took the opportunity to look around and relax from the view. The resulting panorama assembled from 16 individual photos is one of the most spectacular and impressive images we have ever seen of the Red Planet.
Curiosity took the 16 photos with its wide-angle lens on October 25,2017 from an altitude of 327 meters. NASA then assembled the images to create the composite view, and adjusted the blue-white so that the color of the rocks would appear as if they were exposed to daylight on Earth.
When Curiosity took the photos, the rover was about 18 km from the landing site where his journey began in 2012. From this observation point, the rover could scan the vast expanse of the inner edge of the Gale Crater. And in fact, much of the horizon seen in the photo is formed by the crater edge, which extends over a diameter of 154 km. The average distance shows portions of the relatively flat bottom of the Gale Crater.
At the summit of Vera Rubin Ridge, Curiosity was also able to take a look at the route he took to his current location – a trip that saw him roving 85 km from his landing site.
Credit: NASA / JPL