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.

2006 July 3
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

The View toward Husband Hill on Mars
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell, JPL, NASA

Explanation: This Martian vista is only part of one of the greatest panoramic views of Mars that has ever been attempted. The expansive mosaic is helping to keep the robotic Spirit rover busy over the energy draining winter in the southern hemisphere of Mars. During the winter, Spirit is constrained to stay on the side of McCool Hill in order to keep its solar panels pointed toward the Sun. The panorama has so far involved over 800 exposures, very little digital compression, and will take over a month to complete. The view shown is toward Husband Hill, a hill that Spirit climbed last year. A careful inspection of the above image shows tracks crossing from the center to the right.

Tomorrow's picture: dusty galaxy

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