Spirit Contemplative in Old Age

For a crippled extraterrestrial rover past its prime*, the Martian winter is cold and unforgiving. Tucked away on a small hill with a view of the sun for the past four months, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has been making do, using available solar energy to work on, among other things, the most detailed photograph of the Martian surface to date. The following panorama was acquired using all 13 color filters on the rover’s Pancam and a minimal amount of compression. The end result is a composite of 1,449 images and nearly 500 megabytes of raw data.

* today marks the 1,000th sol of what was originally a 90-sol mission

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