Mars Panoramas

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Bonestell panorama

Image date: 30 December 2008
Image courtesy: NASA/JPL/Cornell University
This 360-degree panorama shows the vista from the location where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has spent its third Martian southern-hemisphere winter inside Mars' Gusev Crater. The rover's overwintering location is on the northern edge of a low plateau informally called "Home Plate," which is about 80 meters or 260 feet in diameter.

This view combines 246 different exposures taken with Spirit's panoramic camera (Pancam) — 82 pointings, with three filters at each pointing. Spirit took the first of these frames during the mission's 1,477th Martian day, or sol, (February 28, 2008) two weeks after the rover made its last move to reach the location where it would stop driving for the winter. Solar energy at Gusev Crater is so limited during the Martian winter that Spirit does not generate enough electricity to drive, nor even enough to take many images per day. The last frame for this mosaic was taken on Sol 1691 (October 5, 2008). Spirit began moving again on Sol 1709 (October 23, 2008), inching uphill to adjust the angle of its solar panels for the last portion of the winter.

The hill marked on the horizon is Husband Hill, to the north (Spirit acquired a 360-degree panorama from the summit of Husband Hill during August 2005). The hill dominating the left portion of the image is McCool Hill. Husband and McCool hills are two of the seven principal hills in the Columbia Hills range within Gusev Crater. Home Plate is in the inner basin of the range.

This is an approximate true-color, red-green-blue composite panorama. This "natural color" view is the rover team's best estimate of what the scene would look like if we were there and able to see it with our own eyes.

See also: the annotated, false color and 3D versions of this panorama.