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Mars rover makes first colour panorama

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Published: 9th Aug 2012 19:28:00

Nasa's new Mars rover has returned its first 360-degree colour panorama from the surface of the Red Planet.

The Curiosity robot used its wideangle science camera placed high up on a mast to acquire the frames.

The low-resolution vista shows at centre the big mountain that lies in the middle of Gale Crater, the deep depression in which the rover landed.

Curiosity's ultimate goal is to drive towards this peak - informally known as Mount Sharp - to study its rocks.

Evidence from satellite photos has suggested there are sediments exposed at the base of the mountain that were laid down in the presence of abundant water.

The rover will uses its science instruments to try to understand what kind of environments existed at the time of the rocks' formation, and whether there were periods in Mars history when any type of microbial life could have thrived.

Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter

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BBC News, 2012. Mars rover makes first colour panorama [Online] (Updated 9th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1445435/Mars-rover-makes-first-colour-panorama [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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