Many curious representatives of humanity would like to one day personally visit Mars – the fourth planet remotely from the Sun. Despite the deadly levels of radiation, the almost complete absence of oxygen and extremely low temperatures, Mars was and remains one of the main contenders for the title of the most studied object in the solar system by man. While earthly minds are trying to come up with the most efficient and cheapest way to get to this albeit harsh but extremely interesting world, the Curiosity rover, which began its work back in 2012, decided to add some oil to the fire of human curiosity, giving us new panoramas of the Martian landscape .
New Mars Photos Received
The small Martian world, completely covered with rust, is, in fact, the only full-fledged planet of the solar system, the surface of which is constantly plowed by earthly robots. However, despite all our successes in creating automated stations capable of working even without human intervention, we are still powerless against the weather conditions that exist today on Mars. It is their impact that determines the presence on the Red Planet of those landscape details whose observation was the main goal of the Curiosity rover designed by NASA.
In order to take the most detailed pictures of the surface of the fourth planet in the history of astronomy, the rover needed powerful on-board cameras, successfully fulfilling the dream of any astrophotographer, showing the Martian landscape with a resolution of 1.8 billion pixels. One of the photos posted by the rover shows the Glen Torridon area of Mount Sharp and the central part of Gale Crater, where Curiosity landed in August 2012, according to newatlas.com. During its operation, the rover traveled 19 kilometers while exploring the surrounding area and taking many pictures, including 360-degree panoramas and a number of selfies.
Due to the rather large distance separating the terrestrial observer from Mars, the image data can reach us at a much lower speed than we would like. So, in order to get one high-quality panorama of the planet, scientists needed to combine in one more than 1000 images that were made by the rover for four days from noon to two in the afternoon on Martian time. Such a strict condition was fulfilled in order to make sure that the illumination in all the images was the same for the convenience of further installation before being sent to Earth. It is known that all photographs were taken using a special telephoto lens built into the rover, while the additional lens of the device was used to create a panorama with a lower resolution of almost 650 million pixels, capturing the rover’s deck and the robotic arm visible below.
The series of panoramas received from Curiosity is unlikely to be the last, although already in the summer of 2020, NASA plans to send a new generation rover to the Red Planet, Mars 2020. Six months after the start of its space travel, the planet rover will have to land on Mars and begin performing astrobiological studies, studying local geological processes and assessing the chances of finding bacterial life in the distant past of the most mysterious planet of the solar system.