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Curiosity’s First Color 360 Degree Panorama of Gale Crater

Even though this is the fourth time we’ve landed something on Mars, it’s still pretty darn neat. This time around, we sent better cameras with the rover, so we can get pictures like the one above. Behold, the first color panorama of the now-famous Gale Crater, the landing site of the Curiosity rover.

NASA received 130 low-res thumbnails back from Curiosity’s color Mast Camera, which allowed them to put together the image. Though the picture is already fairly sufficient at boggling minds — that’s a color photo from the surface of an alien planet, you know — the photo is only one-eighth the resolution Curiosity’s camera can produce, so we’re likely to see pictures of higher quality sometime soon. NASA scientists haven’t yet done too much on the surface of Mars other than snap some pictures and check the rover’s instruments. Not only have NASA scientists been carefully examining the Martian terrain, making sure the route they mapped out to Mount Sharp before the landing is still safe, but they’ve been carefully testing all of the rover’s instruments, as it carries a total mass fifteen times larger than the previous two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

Check out some more interesting images from Curiosity below.

As mentioned, NASA should have much higher quality images from Mars in the near future, as the color picture we have above is only one-eighth the camera’s potential resolution. We can’t wait to see all the aliens, who are obviously only visible in higher resolution.

(via NASA)

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