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Emily LakdawallaOctober 11, 2012

Pretty panoramas: Curiosity's scenic views of distant hills

I am working on writing up a report on today's petrology-heavy press briefing. Because that's taking me a while and because it's going to be heavy slogging, I am offering you first some of the really gorgeous views that have been arriving in Curiosity's daily downlinks. These images are from sols 50 and 51, more than two weeks ago. They show hazy views of distant foothills. Neither of these two panoramas actually contains any sky; the background is the Gale crater rim. This first one, especially, took my breath away when I first saw it.

Panoramic view of northeastern hills, Curiosity sol 50

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Emily Lakdawalla

Panoramic view of northeastern hills, Curiosity sol 50
A mosaic of three Mastcam-100 images taken on sol 50 facing northeast. There is no sky visible in this view; occupying the distance is Gale's crater rim.
Panoramic view of southeastern foothills of Gale's central mound, Curiosity sol 51

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Emily Lakdawalla

Panoramic view of southeastern foothills of Gale's central mound, Curiosity sol 51
A mosaic of three Mastcam-100 images taken on sol 51 facing southeast. There is no sky visible in this view; occupying the distance is Gale's crater rim.

Here is the Navcam view of Curiosity's surroundings on sol 50, with boxes showing you the positions of the panoramas.

Context image for Curiosity sol 50 and 51 Mastcam-100 panoramas

NASA / JPL / Damia Bouic

Context image for Curiosity sol 50 and 51 Mastcam-100 panoramas
Part of the sol 50 Navcam panorama, with the locations of two Mastcam panoramas highlighted.

Read more: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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