NASA's Curiosity rover is really beginning to pay off. Since setting up its high-definition cameras, the Mars rover has been sending back amazing views of the fourth planet. Now NASA has assembled a high-quality panorama of the Martian surface, and the results are stunning.
The 360-degree view of Mars shows off Curiosity's surroundings in Gale Crater, and gives a splendid view of Mount Sharp, the rover's ultimate target in its mission.
One of the most striking things about the vista from Mars is how much it resembles Earth, specifically deserts like the Mojave and Death Valley. Looking at the rocks, mountains and red sand across the planet's surface, one could forget they're looking at another world and not our own.
If the Curiosity panorama doesn't whet your appetite for breathtaking views of the Red Planet, check out this view from Mars' Greeley Haven. The panorama was assembled by NASA's Opportunity rover over six months and released by the space agency in July. Fair warning, though, this panorama makes extensive use of false colors to simulate different lighting conditions.
The Mars rover Curiosity has several goals in its mission, chief among them to analyze the chemical makeup of Mars' surface and determine whether or not the planet was capable of sustaining life in the past.