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This bird's-eye view combines a self-portrait of the spacecraft deck and a panoramic mosaic of the Martian surface as viewed by the Spirit rover.
04.01.2006

Still Shining After All This Time

This bird's-eye view combines a self-portrait of the spacecraft deck and a panoramic mosaic of the Martian surface as viewed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The rover's solar panels are still gleaming in the sunlight, having acquired only a thin veneer of dust two years after the rover landed and commenced exploring the red planet. Spirit captured this 360-degree panorama on the summit of "Husband Hill" inside Mars' Gusev Crater. During the period from Spirit's Martian days, or sols, 583 to 586 (Aug. 24 to 27, 2005), the rover's panoramic camera acquired the hundreds of individual frames for this largest panorama ever photographed by Spirit.

This image is an approximately true-color rendering using the camera's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 480-nanometer filters for the Martian surface, and the 600-nanometer, 530-nanometer, and 480-nanometer filters for the rover deck. This polar projection is a compromise between a cylindrical projection ( http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20051205a.html; http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA03610), which provides the best view of the terrain, and a vertical projection, which provides the best view of the deck but distorts the terrain far from the rover. The view is presented with geometric seam correction.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

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