NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a breathtaking panorama of the inside of the Gale Crater, as snapped by the Curiosity Rover. To celebrate the Rover’s ninth — ninth! — year surveying the red planet, the clip shows off where the Rover has been, where it’s going, and what we’ve learned in the last decade. This includes the breathtaking fact that, on a clear winter’s day when there’s no dust in the air, you can see close to 20 miles.
The panorama, as reported by Gizmodo, shows Curiosity’s journey up the side of Mount Sharp, and the detour it had to take in order to avoid a large sheet of Martian sand. As the rover has journeyed up the side, the composition of the rocks had changed from a clay-rich base to one full of sulphide. As Deputy Project Scientist Abigail Fraeman explains, researchers are hoping to learn a little more about how Mars lost its water (the Gale Crater used to be a lake, after all) and how long it took before it became the dry desert planet we see before us.
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