The Curiosity Rover has been on the red planet for almost a decade and has recently shared a stunning panorama to celebrate its ninth year anniversary on Mars. A snapshot taken by the rover has been released by NASA recently, and it shows a wide view of the Martian surface behind the Curiosity Rover. The rover is currently on the outskirts of Mount Sharp, exploring its way around the landing site in Gale Crater.
Curiosity Rover shares panorama from Mars, completes nine years on the red planet
It was on August 5, 2012, that NASA’s Curiosity Rover touched down on the red planet. Since then, the rover has been active for 3305 days, which also translates to 3217 sols(a solar day on Mars). Interestingly, the technique used at the time of Curiosity’s touchdown was also used when Perseverance Rover landed on the Martian surface on February 18, 2021. While the curiosity rover landed at the floor of Gale Crater, it has been climbing up the hill located centrally in the crater.
From its current position 1,500 feet above the landing level, the Curiosity Rover can see up to the rim of the Gale Crater, which is located some 32 kilometres from the rover. The clear distant vision is possible because of the prevailing Winter season on Mars. The Martian atmosphere contains less dust in Winters, while the amount of minute particles in the air rises in summer. On one side of the image, the smooth clay-bearing deposits are clearly visible. This region was being analyzed by the rover as it might have been formed in the presence of moisture or water.
The rover is now slowly making its way to a region that is characterized by sulfates or salty minerals. Thereafter, the robot will study samples from this region. The data will help scientists understand the reason behind the drying up of the red planet. It is also speculated that before Mars dried up, it had the required conditions for life to thrive on the planet. The image shared by the Curiosity Rover has revealed the texture of rocks on the planet as well.