NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars is indeed a marvelous machine. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the high-def 360-degreee panorama of Mars that the rover captured last week. The rover also released this self-portrait, showing its own deck as viewed by its Navigation camera. The back of the rover can be seen at the top left of the image, and two of the rover’s right side wheels can be seen on the left. The undulating rim of Gale Crater forms the lighter color strip in the background. Bits of gravel, about 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) in size, are visible on the deck of the rover.
NASA says this mosaic is made of 20 images, each of 1,024 by 1,024 pixels, taken late at night on August 7 PDT (morning August 8 UTC).
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.