PIA26247: Curiosity Looks Back Down the Slope
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  Navcam (MSL)
 Product Size:  3432 x 1503 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26247.tif (3.619 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26247.jpg (569.4 kB)

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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover captured this panorama – showing the area it climbed to reach Gediz Vallis channel – using its left black-and-white navigation camera on Feb. 1, 2024, the 4,084th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The panorama is made up of 10 images that were stitched together after being sent back to Earth.

At center is the slope Curiosity ascended, which is striped with alternating dark and light bands of sedimentary rock. Farther down the slope are two buttes: "Chenapau" on the left and "Orinoco" on the right. Farther still is the floor of Gale Crater, with the crater's rim in the far distance. At right rises a banded butte nicknamed "Kukenán."

Since 2014, Curiosity has been ascending the foothills of Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the floor of Gale Crater. The layers in this lower part of the mountain formed over millions of years under a changing Martian climate, providing scientists with a way to study how the presence of both water and the chemical ingredients required for life changed over time.

Curiosity was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California. JPL leads the mission on behalf of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more about Curiosity, visit: http://mars.nasa.gov/msl

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