No lie, Mars looks quite a bit like the Old American West. And I’m only joking a little. Don’t believe me that the Red Planet resembles the landscape of a John Ford movie? Check out this stunning new panoramic photograph from the Curiosity rover.
Click here to see the full picture.
Can’t you imagine a band of horse-riding desperados galloping through this frame, on their way to rob a stagecoach, find some hidden Confederate gold, or some similar errand?
The image is a composite, pieced together by Stuart Atkinson from NASA photographs. At the moment, Curiosity is bouncing about near the Gale Crater, and this pic gives you a ground-level view of the Martian horizon. There’s not really much to say. All I’ve been doing is gawking at this, thinking how this landscape is simultaneously so familiar and so foreign. Get in the right frame of mind, and for the briefest second you feel like you know what it is like to stand on the surface of Mars. And you get that experience while still being able to breathe. Bonus.
Here’s another picture cobbled together from smaller images. A few weeks ago, Emily Lakdawalla took three images from Curiosity’s cameras and fashioned them into a single, sweeping picture. Again, click here to see the whole thing. And again, I can’t stop imagining cowboys. What the hell is wrong with me?
The pictures from inside the crater give the impression that you’re located in the center of a wide valley, looking at the distant hills.