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Epic NASA rover panorama puts Mars all up in your face

Experience the Martian expanse with the Curiosity rover's view from the top of a hill.

This zoomed-in view shows part of the Gale Crater on Mars as seen by the Curiosity rover in a panorama captured on April 15, 2021.

The Perseverance rover and its flying helicopter buddy Ingenuity are headline stars right now, but that doesn't take away from the ongoing work of NASA's other Mars rover, Curiosity. It just delivered a knockout 360-degree panorama from atop a rock formation.

Is there a robot equivalent of King of the Hill? If so, that's Curiosity. The rover had previously delivered a stunner of a selfie at "Mont Mercou," a scenic rock outcrop in the Gale Crater. Next, Curiosity climbed the hill and took a moment to survey its surroundings.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory delivered the panorama in the form of an interactive YouTube video and as a zoomable photo view. The sweeping overview consists of 132 images taken on April 15 and then stitched together into a mosaic. 

The image is best explored on a screen where you can zoom in and revel in the details of the rocky and dusty landscape. "The panorama has been white-balanced so that the colors of the rock materials resemble how they would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth," NASA said.

Curiosity isn't just enjoying the view from the top of Mont Mercou, but also recently drilled a hole to get a closer look at the geology. The rover is scheduled to drive off soon and continue its journey through the crater.

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