Wish you were here: NASA’s Curiosity rover sends a rare postcard from Mars to mark its 10th anniversary

NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrates its 10th anniversary Celebrate its launch on November 26th by sending a breathtaking postcard from the Red Planet. The rover captured two black and white images of Mars’ amazing landscape while it was perched on the slopes of Mount Sharp. NASA scientists combined the two images and added color to them and then shared the composite image on the space agency’s Instagram account. In the caption, NASA said the Curiosity rover was “thinking of you” and so sent this postcard. “Keeping in touch with loved ones is important,” it added.

Normally, Curiosity, launched exactly 10 years ago in 2011, captures a 360-degree view of its surroundings with its navigation camera, before sending a panoramic image back to Earth. These images are usually sent in a low-quality, compressed format to make them easier to send to Earth.

But this time it’s different. When the team behind the expedition vehicle saw the landscape ahead of Mount Sharp, a mountain more than 5km high, they decided it was worth taking the picture at the highest quality.

NASA said in the caption that the beauty of the landscape was so inspiring that the mission team “decided to add a little flair” by combining images taken at two different times of day and adding color color to create a rare postcard.

Separately, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is leading the Curiosity mission, said in a declare that the shades of blue, orange, and green are not what the human eye will see. Instead, they represent scenes viewed at different times of the day. Elements from the morning scene are depicted in blue, the afternoon scene in orange, and a combination of the two in green.

Mount Sharp is located inside Gale Crater, a 154 km wide basin formed by an ancient impact. The far rim of Gale Crater is visible on the horizon.


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