Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Curiosity's Martian Holiday

NASA's rover Curiosity has been generating a lot of publicity as it traversed the martian terrain, performed studies, and sent back stunning colour images of that alien but very earthlike world. Now, as Mars moves to the opposite side of the Sun in its orbit, and communications with the rover will be made impossible for a while in April, the Curiosity team at JPL will be preparing the rover for its "holiday" by uploading software that will automate the rover for that period.

Curiosity's snaps of the martian landscape have captured attention of many people, not least for the fact that for the first time we see true-colour images and panoramas of Mars on a regular basis. Everything, from a small rock to a wide vista, is the subject of Curiosity's curious cameras.

NASA make most of the raw images received from Curiosity available at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/  Some of those comprise a panorama, which can be assembled (or stitched together) using a software like Microsoft's ICE. You can find a few panoramas I created at www.facebook.com/CuriosityRoverPanoramas and there will be more panoramas coming as the rover travels to new locations and sends more images.

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