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Curiosity captures stunning panorama on slopes of Mount Sharp


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A small section of a 360-degree panorama showing the Curiosity Mars rover’s perch on the lower slopes of Mount Sharpe

A panoramic image taken from the slopes of Mount Sharp has revealed the Martian landscape in remarkable detail.

After spending the last twelve months atop Vera Rubin Ridge, the adventurous Mars rover is now heading to a trough known as Glen Torridon to study phyllosilicates - a type of clay mineral.

"In addition to indicating a previously wet environment, clay minerals are known to trap and preserve organic molecules," said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada. "That makes this area especially promising, and the team is already surveying the area for its next drill site."

The panorama, which is made up of 122 separate photographs, was captured just before Curiosity headed away from Vera Rubin Ridge. The view includes Glen Torridon and upper Mount Sharp.

"We've had our fair share of surprises," said science team member Abigail Fraeman. "We're leaving with a different perspective of the ridge than what we had before."

To view the panorama, click and drag your mouse while playing the video below.

A full-sized, high-resolution version can be viewed - here.

Source:  Astronomy Now

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