This image is a part of the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The thumbnail images were taken on Aug. 9, 2012, by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. Click at the image after the jump, to see the panorama in Full size. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Click to enlarge Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later.
Scientists will take a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.