Curiosity Mars rover beams back ‘artistic’ postcard view of Gale Crater

The Curiosity Mars rover, slowly making its way up the lower slopes of Gale Crater’s Mount Sharp, took a moment earlier this month to send back two black-and-white panoramas captured by its navigation cameras, one showing the morning view at 08:30 a.m. and the other taken at 4:10 p.m. Red, green and blue filters were then added to a combined image to produce this “artistic interpretation” combining the different lighting conditions in a single view (morning at left and afternoon at right). At the center of the scene is the view back down Mount Sharp, which Curiosity has been ascending for the past seven years. The rover passed by the cluster of rounded hills visible at center-right back in July. At near right are the slopes of craggy Rafael Navarro Mountain, named after a Curiosity team member who passed away earlier this year. Barely visible rising behind Rafael Navarro is the upper region of Mount Sharp. Off in the distance, 30 to 40 kilometres away (18 to 25 miles), is the rim of Gale Crater, rising 2.3 kilometres (7,500 feet) above the floor of the crater. Click in the image below for a larger view.

Curiosity’s view back down the slopes of Gale Crater. Click on image for larger view. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech