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.

2016 March 29

NASA's Curiosity Rover at Namib Dune (360 View)
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS

Explanation: Point or tilt to see a spectacular view of Mars visible to the Curiosity rover last December. In the foreground, part of Curiosity itself is visible, including its dusty sundial. Starting about seven meters back, the robotic rover is seen posing in front of a 5-meter tall dark sand dune named Namib, one of many dunes that span Bagnold field. Further in the distance is the summit of Mt. Sharp, the 5.5-kilometer peak at the center of 150-km wide Gale crater, the crater where Curiosity landed a few years ago. The featured composite spans a full 360-degrees around by combining several images taken on the same day, while the result has been color adjusted to mimic Earth lighting. Most recently, Curiosity is crossing the rocky and uneven Naukluft Plateau as it continues to make its way around and up Mt. Sharp.

Note: If your browser does not support YouTube 360 panoramas, see a cool static version of the image here.
Tomorrow's picture: ara sky

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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