Feeling curious about Mars? NASA's rover Curiosity always is. Hey, it's what it was built for!
And if, by chance, we weren't curious about the Red Planet before, we definitely are now. That's because Curiosity just finished putting together an epic Mars panorama of the planet's surface and it is truly out of this world.
The complete image is a collection of over 1,000 images and presents us with an incredible 1.8 billion total pixels. This means that the image can be zoomed in super close in any spot that you choose. Let's have NASA's Curiosity project scientist Ashwin Vasavada talk about some of the exceptional details found in this Mars panorama.
Now it's your turn!
Pretty mind-blowing stuff, right? As we've detailed before, Curiosity landed inside the enormous Gale Crater in 2012. The walls of this crater are so steep that the rover will never be able to leave it. But there's more than enough inside this 150-kilometre (90-mile) wide area for Curiosity to explore.
Scientists believe that the sediment inside Gale is leftover from when the crater was a lake. Yes, we said water. It's amazing to think about what Mars once looked like. And while we can't go back in time and visit those days, you can use the two links below to visit the area around Curiosity now.
First is a 360° view video. Press play and use the cursor to grab and drag yourself in any direction. (If you want to explore without interruption, go to around :30, press pause, and drag away!)
Second, use this link to visit a NASA page that contains the full high-resolution Mars panorama. You can click and zoom until your heart's content and even download it if you like! (If you choose to do that though, be warned, the large version is 2.25 GB. Hint: It won't fit on your phone — grab the 82 MB version instead!)
Have fun, Martian explorers! And thanks Curiosity for the "opportunity"!