NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover was completing a 360-degree panorama of its surroundings on the inner slope of Endeavour Crater when a global dust storm silenced the spacecraft after nearly 15 years of operation on the red planet. The final panorama is made up of 354 images stitched together for a fitting farewell vista.
Plumb the hidden depths of spring’s deep-sky by seeking out 3C 273, the optically-brightest quasi-stellar object (QSO) in the constellation of Virgo. Quasars are the intensely luminous centres of very distant and active galaxies, powered by a supermassive black hole. And don’t worry that you need a huge ‘scope to see it – a 15-cm (6-inch) instrument and a clear, moonless night are all you need.