Here is an interactive 360 degree panorama of the scenery that recently surrounded NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover:

Explore this Mars panorama by moving the view with your mouse or mobile device. This 360-degree panorama was acquired on Aug. 5, 2016, by the Mastcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover as the rover neared features called “Murray Buttes” on lower Mount Sharp. The dark, flat-topped mesa seen to the left of the rover’s arm is about 50 feet (about 15 meters) high and, near the top, about 200 feet (about 60 meters) wide.

If you can’t move the view:

Important note: Not all browsers support viewing 360 videos/images. YouTube supports uploading and playback of 360 degree videos/images on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers.

If your browser does not support 360, a static view of this same panorama image is available at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/d…

Download raw images used to make this 360-degree mosaic from:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimed…

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From the press release that accompanied this image:

Full-Circle Vista from NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Shows ‘Murray Buttes’

Eroded mesas and buttes reminiscent of the U.S. Southwest shape part of the horizon in the latest 360-degree color panorama from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover.

The sweeping view that marks Curiosity’s arrival at “Murray Buttes” on lower Mount Sharp is online at:
http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7994

The rover used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture dozens of component images of this scene on Aug. 5, 2016, four years after Curiosity’s landing inside Gale Crater.

The visual drama of Murray Buttes along Curiosity’s planned route up lower Mount Sharp was anticipated when the site was informally named nearly three years ago to honor Caltech planetary scientist Bruce Murray (1931-2013), a former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. JPL manages the Curiosity mission for NASA.

The buttes and mesas are capped with rock that is relatively resistant to wind erosion.  This helps preserve these monumental remnants of a layer that formerly more fully covered the underlying layer that the rover is now driving on.

Early in its mission on Mars, Curiosity accomplished its main goal when it found and examined an ancient habitable environment. In an extended mission, the rover is examining successively younger layers as it climbs the lower part of Mount Sharp. A key goal is to learn how freshwater lake conditions, which would have been favorable for microbes billions of years ago if Mars has ever had life, evolved into harsher, arid conditions much less suited to supporting life. The mission is also monitoring the modern environment of Mars.

These findings have been addressing high-priority goals for planetary science and further aid NASA’s preparations for a human mission to the Red Planet.

For more information about Curiosity, visit:

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Check out also this stereo image of Boulders at ‘Bimbe’ on Lower Mount Sharp, Mars (Stereo) – Mars Science Laboratory

mars-rover-mount-sharp-boulders-PIA20836-br2[1]

Breccia-Conglomerate Rocks on Lower Mount Sharp, Mars (Stereo) This July 22, 2016, stereo scene from the Mastcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover shows boulders at a site called “Bimbe” on lower Mount Sharp. They contain pebble-size and larger rock fragments. The image appears three dimensional when viewed through red-blue glasses with the red lens on the left. Larger image.

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