Pictures from Mars are both familiar and eerily distant and foreign at the same time.
As one of the planets closest to Earth, it gets a lot more attention and even is the target of speculation about traveling there or even building a colony.
That is to say: Curiosity about Mars never seems to abate. Thankfully, NASA is here to help sate our appetites for awesome surface photos of the red planet.
The Opportunity rover might not be with us anymore but it took a ton of pictures that will linger around possibly forever.
And NASA has stitched them together into one epic panorama for our viewing pleasure.
Beginning with a mission that started all the way back in 2003, Opportunity was damaged during a Martian weather event last year and hasn’t recovered. During its 15-year-long journey across the surface of the red planet, Opportunity traversed 28 miles and revealed all kinds of things about Mars that we didn’t know prior.
One of the biggest discoveries that Opportunity made was that the red planet was once wet.
As many of you can probably speculate, water is typically one of the precursors for life and leads to further speculation that Mars may have had life on it at some point in its past.
The 354 photos that make up the panoramic shot were taken between May 13 and June 10 according to Gizmodo. NASA even released a 3D version that you can view using the red and blue glasses that help the photo give the false impression of depth.
Because of the filtering mechanism on Opportunity, the process of bringing out something approximating true color involves layering three different photos at different wavelengths over one another. Gizmodo describes the process in a really great article that you can read here.
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