This 360-degree scene shows the surroundings of the location where NASA Mars rover Curiosity arrived on the 59th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (Oct. 5, 2012). It is a mosaic of images taken by Curiosity’s Navigation Camera (Navcam) on sols 59 and 60 during first scooping.
Smooth surfaces of the windblown sand and dust of the “Rocknest” area, in the foreground, are what signaled from a distance that this might be an appropriate place to spend about three weeks collecting and using the mission’s first few scoopfuls of soil. The rover scooped up its first sample on Sol 61 (Oct. 7, 2012).
Mount Sharp is on the horizon in the southeast. The “Glenelg” area planned as the next destination lies to the east. Tracks that Curiosity’s wheels made while driving toward Rocknest recede toward the west. For scale, Curiosity leaves parallel tracks about 9 feet (2.7 meters) apart.
I made this panorama by assembling 40 raw images courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech. No other image enhancement was applied except for a slight contrast adjustment. Minor process errors can be noted. Original text from: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16227.html
The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org