NASA's Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Sol 3060: The Vastness of Time
NASA's Curiosity rover captured high-resolution panorama of the Martian surface between Sol 3057 (Mar. 12) and Sol 3062 (Mar. 17, 2019). A version without the rover contains 136 images from 34-millimeter Mast Camera; a version with the rover contains 260 images from 100-millimeter telephoto Mast Camera. Both versions are composed of more than 396 images that were carefully stitched.
Humans minds don’t easily comprehend the vast eons of time that separate us from the places we explore in space with robots like Curiosity. Our minds are designed to think in terms of hours, days, seasons, and years, extending up to a duration of our lifetime and perhaps those a few generations before us. When we explore Mars, we’re roving over rocks that formed billions of years ago and many of which have been exposed on the surface for at least tens or hundreds of millions of years. It’s a gap of time that we can understand numerically, but there’s no way to have an innate feel for the incredible ancientness of the planet and Gale Crater.
Today, Curiosity is continuing our drill campaign at Nontron and preparing SAM to study the sample later this week. While that’s ongoing, Mastcam will take a sure-to-be-spectacular 360° mosaic and ChemCam will study the Mont Mercou cliff in front of us (as seen in this Navcam image), including a target called “Font de Gaume.” Font de Gaume cave in France is home to stunning paleolithic cave art of bison, reindeer, and other Ice Age wildlife painted 19-27,000 years ago. Even that length of time, at least 15,000 years before the pyramids were built in Egypt, is barely 0.0005% of the time back to when Gale Crater formed on Mars.
Atmospheric Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight 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".