Opportunity's last gift from Mars is a handsome panorama


NASA's Opportunity Rover took one last stunning image of Mars's landscape, before losing touch with it after 15 years last month.

If you're curious why certain parts of the panorama remain in black and white, it's because the Rover was knocked out by the massive dust storm before it was able to capture those areas with all three color filters it typically used when shooting pics.

On March 12, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) revealed a set of glorious 360-degree panoramas nabbed by Opportunity in Perseverance Valley, right on the western rim of a huge Martian crater known as Endurance.

NASA also provided an annotated version of the image pointing out the various features that Opportunity captured in the shot.

John Callas, Opportunity Project Manager, said: 'This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery. This magnificent panorama befits its excellent run as a source of data about the red planet.

"To the right of center you can see the rim of Endeavour Crater rising in the distance", he said.

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The color panorama was built via a sequence of 354 images snapped by the rover's Panoramic Camera between May 13 and June 10, 2018.

This 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 solar-powered Opportunity Rover's trail blazing mission was lauded as one of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration. They found a great deal of such evidence, confirming that the Red Planet was much wetter, and potentially habitable, in the ancient past.

Scientists have now released an insight into the rover's final moments before it was blanketed in dust - one last photo, sent back to Earth.

Its scientific discoveries contributed to an advanced understanding of the planet's geology and environment, setting foundations for future robotic and human missions to the harsh environment of Mars.

Opportunity was only planned to last 90 days after landing on the Martian surface in January 2004, but it went on to surpass all expectations.