Rover grabs panoramic Mars mountain view

March 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM

PASADENA, Calif., March 15 (UPI) -- A martian mountain higher than any peak in the continental United States has been captured in a new panoramic image by the Marc Curiosity rover, NASA said.

Dozens of telephoto images have been stitched together to create the panoramic vision of Mount Sharp, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said Friday.

Also known as Aeolis Mons, the layered mountain in the center of the Gale Crater rises more than 3 miles above the rover's location on the crater floor.

The rover is scheduled eventually to move to the lower slopes of Mount Sharp, although it first must spend many more weeks at its current location where it has found evidence of a past environment favorable for microbial life, JPL said.

NASA has released an image of the mosaic that has been white-balanced to show the terrain as if under Earth-like lighting -- which makes the sky look overly blue but can help scientists recognize rock materials based on their terrestrial experience.

The 100-millimeter-focal-length telephoto lens camera mounted on the right side of Curiosity's remote sensing mast captured the images used to create the mosaic, JPL said.

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