Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 June 13
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1000 Sols
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech; Mosaic Processing: Marco Di Lorenzo, Kenneth Kremer

Explanation: Shortly before Mars' June 2015 conjunction, the Curiosity Rover celebrated 1000 sols on the red planet. After its August 5, 2012 landing, Curiosity's 1000th sol or martian day on the surface corresponded to planet Earth's calendar date May 31, 2015. Because the line-of-sight to Mars is close to the Sun near the conjunction, radio communications are affected and the six-wheeled, car-sized robotic rover cautiously remains parked at this spot for now. The view looks back toward the stomping grounds for Curiosity's nearly 10.6 kilometer trek so far, with the hazy rim of Gale Crater looming in the distance. The mosaicked panorama was constructed with images from navigation cameras taken on Curiosity's sol 997.

Tomorrow's picture: Pinwheel MCI

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