NASA has released a full-circle image of mars saying "next best thing to being there". The images are a compilation of 817 images taken from the rover Opportunity during the Martian winter using its panoramic camera (Pancam).
The rover has been on Mars for 3,006 days as of today. NASA said the image is presented in false color to emphasize differences between materials in the scene.
Opportunity and its twin rover, Spirit landed on Mars in January 2004 for original missions that were planned to last three months. Spirit found itself stuck on Mars in late 2009, and its last communication with Earth was sent on March 22, 2010.
Although Spirit has found its final resting place on the Red Planet, Opportunity is still roaming around, firing back pictures to NASA scientists.
Opportunity’s latest image released by NASA was recorded from the mast-mounted color camera located on the rover’s solar arrays.
The full-circle image shows fresh rover trackers made by Opportunity, as well as an impact crater that landed on Mars billions of years ago.
“The view provides rich geologic context for the detailed chemical and mineral work that the team did at Greeley Haven over the rover’s fifth Martian winter, as well as a spectacularly detailed view of the largest impact crater that we’ve driven to yet with either rover over the course of the mission,” said lead scientist Jim Bell of Arizona State University.