Mars Rover Curiosity: Beautiful Interactive Panorama
Take a look at the panorama above from the Mars Curiosity rover. Click on it. Drag the image around. Use the controls to zoom in on details. Our apologies if you're on a platform on which it doesn't work; you can try looking at it via the link HERE.
The panorama was shot, section by section, by Curiosity on its second full day (Aug. 7) on the Martian surface, and has now been assembled as an interactive by Andrew Bodrov, a photographer from Estonia who has posted other panoramas (from Earth) at 360cities.net.
The colors you would see if you could stand on Mars would be more vivid than what he shows; the original panorama was shot in black and white, and Bodrov gave it a yellowish tint. There's a fair amount of dust in the Martian atmosphere, which gives everything that rusty red hue we're used to seeing. The rocks beneath are actually gray, like rock on Earth.
NASA, meanwhile, reports that its rover is in good health, and plans are being made for it to set off on its first jaunt. Over the weekend mission control transmitted new software to Curiosity's computers so that they would be ready for roving. It was a slow process; the ship is 150 million miles away, and communications make a 1990s dialup connection look fast, so controllers do things very deliberately.