NASA's Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Sol 1163: Approaching Bagnold Dunes
The images for panorama obtained by the rover's 34-millimeter Mast Camera. The mosaic, which stretches about 30,000 pixels width, includes 140 images taken on Sol 1163 (November 13, 2015).
Today is a holiday for some of us, but not the MSL tactical operations team! The 55-meter drive planned for Sol 1160 completed as planned, and another 41-meter drive is planned for Sol 1162. Before the next drive, Mastcam and ChemCam will observe a small, sandy drift named "Arris" and a bedrock target dubbed "Tsumeb." Mastcam will also acquire two mosaics, one of nearby outcrops and one of more distant rocks. The drive should place the rover between two of the Bagnold Dunes, so the vehicle will turn to a heading that will maximize the chances of acquiring good REMS measurements of wind speed and direction. This observation is part of the dune study campaign that has been developed over the past year, with an overall goal of better understanding how winds on Mars form and modify dunes. Observations of the dunes from orbit show that they are active, so many members of the MSL science team are looking forward to detailed measurements of the winds and their effects on the sand dunes and nearby terrain, as winds are currently the most significant agent of erosion on Mars. On Sol 1163, Mastcam will take pictures of the rover deck to allow tracking of changes in the distribution of dust and sand on the top of the vehicle, and image the sun to measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Navcam will also observe the sky and search for dust devils.
By Ken Herkenhoff
Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center
Other panoramas of Mars by Curiosity rover:
The planet Earth has proven to be too limiting for our awesome community of panorama photographers. We're getting an increasing number of submissions that depict locations either not on Earth (like Mars, the Moon, and Outer Space in general) or do not realistically represent a geographic location on Earth (either because they have too many special effects or are computer generated) and hence don't strictly qualify for our Panoramic World project.But many of these panoramas are extremely beautiful or popular of both.So, in order to accommodate our esteemed photographers and the huge audience that they attract to 360Cities with their panoramas, we've created a new section (we call it an "area") called "Out of this World" for panoramas like these.Don't let the fact that these panoramas are being placed at the Earth's South Pole fool you - we had to put them somewhere in order not to interfere with our Panoramic World.Welcome aboard on a journey "Out of this World".