Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Spirit "Everest" Panorama, sols 620-622

Spirit "Everest" Panorama, sols 620-622
Spirit "Everest" Panorama, sols 620-622 This is the Spirit Pancam "Everest" panorama, acquired on sols 620 to 622 (1 to 3 Oct 2005) from a position in the Columbia Hills at the true summit of Husband Hill. The summit region is a broad plateau about 100 meters (300 feet) above the surrounding plains of Gusev crater, consisting mostly of outcrop rocks and windblown drifts. The distant view in the center of this mosaic is looking from the summit into the Inner Basin, the region where Spirit would be driving down into and exploring over the coming months. NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell

The panorama spans 360 degrees and consists of images obtained in 81 individual pointings and 4 Pancam filters at each pointing. This mosaic is an approximate true color rendering generated using the images acquired through Pancam's 750, 530, and 430 nm filters. There were large changes in the brightness and color of the martian sky during the 3 sols that it took to acquire this mosaic. In some of the images near the horizon, the view is clear enough to see extremely faint features as far away as the rim of Gusev crater (80 km away), while in some other horizon images it was too hazy to see those distant features. Because of these strong variations, there was no attempt made to "smooth" the sky in this mosaic to simulate the kind of view one would get by taking in the landscape all at once. Such a process would have lead to the faint distant features being washed out, so they have been preserved, perhaps at the cost of a slightly less pretty overall view. Still, though, the view is stunning from the top. Amazingly, several large dust devils can also be seen in this image, just right of center and partially silhouetted against the horizon. These little storms moved between the time the images were taken through Pancam's red, green, and blue filters, and so they appear to look like red, green, and blue dust devils. In reality, their colors are actually much closer to the reddish-brown color of the soils of Mars. 

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