NASA has released a new breathtaking full-circle panoramic image of its exploration of the planet Mars. The view of the Martian landscape is a composite of 817 pictures taken by the Mars exploration rover Opportunity between Dec. 21, 2011, and May 8, 2012. The rover and its twin, Spirit, have been on Mars since 2004 and will be joined by a third rover, Curiosity, next month.
Below is the panorama, with several highlighted points of interest, including the four-billion-year-old Endeavour crater, which offers views of the oldest geological deposits on Mars that Opportunity has seen to date. Click on the orange boxes for details. Use the arrow controls at the bottom to scroll left or right and the X button to stop the movement.
Photo: JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ./NASA