Updated: November 29, 2021 1:01:10 pm
NASA’s Curiosity rover recently captured two remarkable images from the side of Mars’ Mount Sharp and the mission team has now stitched it together, added colours, and created a ‘postcard’ from Mars. On November 16, 2021, the rover captured a 360-degree view of its surroundings at 8:30 am and again at 4:10 pm local Mars time.
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By taking the pictures of the landscape at two different times, the black-and-white navigation cameras were able to capture a variety of details of the area.
The artistic recreation of the two scenes includes “elements from the morning scene in blue, the afternoon scene in orange, and a combination of both in green,” according to NASA.
At the center of the image is Mount Sharp, standing at about 5-kilometer-tall. On August 6, 2012, Curiosity landed next to this mountain, and studying this area has been one of its primary scientific goals.
Look at the interesting rocks and hills I’ve seen while climbing Mount Sharp. It’s winter here, so skies aren’t as dusty and I get a clear view down to Gale Crater’s floor. The changing landscape may give insight into how this ancient lake dried up. https://t.co/a3FA66Wloj pic.twitter.com/GZispjMm3l
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 17, 2021
In 2017, Curiosity found evidence for liquid on ancient Mars on the lower slope of Mount Sharp and that the ancient lake environment may have offered favourable conditions for microbial life. In 2019, the rover collected evidence that the Gale crater on Mars had once hosted a lake and stream system in the past.
Rounded hills, fields of sand ripples known as the “Sands of Forvie” and the “Rafael Navarro Mountain” can also be seen in the picture.