On November 16, 2021 (SOL 3299, or Sol), engineers ordered Curiosity to take two sets of mosaics, or composites, to capture the scene at 8:30 a.m. and again at 4:10 p.m. Mars local time. Twice of the day presented contrasting lighting conditions that revealed a variety of landscape details. The team then combined the two scenes into an artistic re-creation that includes elements of the morning scene in blue, the noon scene in orange, and a mixture of the two in green.
In the center of the image is the rear view down Mount Sharp, the 3-mile-high (5 kilometer) mountain that Curiosity has been driving upward since 2014. Round ridges can be seen in the distance at right of center; Curiosity got a closer view of these things back in July, when the rover started seeing Interesting changes in the landscape. A field of undulating sand known as “Furfi sands” extends from a quarter to a half mile (400 to 800 metres).
On the far right of the panorama there is a rocky crag.Mount Rafael NavarroNamed after a Curiosity team scientist who passed away earlier this year. Behind it is the top of Mount Sharp, much higher than the area Curiosity is exploring. Mount Sharp is located inside Gale Crater, a basin 96 miles wide (by 154 km) formed by an ancient impact; the remote Gale Crater rim is 7,500 feet (2.3 km) high, and can be seen on the horizon about 18 to 25 miles (30 to 40 km) away.
The Curiosity mission is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.
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