NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory published a breathtaking panorama from inside Gale Crater, photographed by the Curiosity rover. To celebrate the ninth of the Rover – ninth! – year of surveying the red planet, the clip shows where the Rover has been, where it’s going and what we’ve learned over the past decade. This includes the breathtaking fact that on a clear winter day, when there is no dust in the air, you can see almost 20 miles.
The panorama, as reported by Gizmodo, shows Curiosity’s journey on the side of Mount Sharp, and the detour he had to take to avoid a large patch of Martian sand. As the rover traveled sideways, the composition of the rocks changed from a base rich in clay to a base full of sulphide. As project associate scientist Abigail Fraeman explains, researchers hope to learn a bit more about how Mars lost its water (the Gale Crater was a lake, after all) and how long it took before it turned into the dry desert planet we see in front of us.
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