Mars Opportunity Rover's Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Panorama

Mars Opportunity Rover's Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Panorama

Mars Opportunity Rover's Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Panorama

'Just to the left of that, rover tracks begin their descent from over the horizon and weave their way down to geologic features that our scientists wanted to examine up close. NASA tried gamely to revive the long-lived Oppy but had no luck, finally declaring the rover dead last month. The Pancam contains filters in order to view light as only a single wavelength, or colour, so these black-and-white images correspond to light received by the camera in only one colour.

In February, NASA announced that its pioneering Opportunity rover had died after almost 15 years of exploring the Martian surface, marking the end of a mission which has significantly broadened our understanding of the Red Planet.

"The image is a cropped version of the last 360-degree panorama taken by the Opportunity rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) from May 13 through June 10, 2018".

The individual pictures where taken one by one between May 13 and June 10 or Martian Sols 5,084 through 5,111.

'And to the far right and left are the bottom of Perseverance Valley and the floor of Endeavour crater, pristine and unexplored, waiting for visits from future explorers'.

The US space agency has now shared the rover's "parting shot", cementing Opportunity's achievements in the history of Mars exploration.

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity leaves us with one final, glorious panorama
This is the last gorgeous Mars panorama that Opportunity captured before it died

This storm-which blanketed the entire planet-caused NASA to lose contact with the solar-powered rover. The noisy image, with a large black bar, makes it seem like Opportunity was cut-off, mid-sentence, as she sent one final communication home. That incomplete image, seen below, shows the approaching dark that would eventually end Opportunity.

It landed on Mars' Meridiani Planum plain near its equator on January 25, 2004.

Just before a planet-wide Martian dust storm silenced it forever, NASA's Opportunity rover captured panoramic images from its location in Endeavour Crater's Perseverance Valley, which mission team members used to create composite photographs in false color revealing the area in stunning detail.

NASA's Opportunity rover defied all odds by outliving its mission beyond the wildest expectations. However, before the dust storm covered the skies above Opportunity, the robot managed to capture hundreds of images. It also holds the record for the machine that traveled the most on an alien world, 28 miles (45 kilometers).

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated byKarl Tate), is out now.

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