NASA Just Released the Highest Resolution Photo of Mars' Surface Ever

Mars has captured our imagination for decades and decades.

nasa mars photo
Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mars has captured our imagination for decades and decades. Sending rovers across the fourth planet from the sun hasn't dulled that enthusiasm. It's still as mysterious as ever, even as we learn new details from the science happening there.

This new image will only fuel that fire. NASA's Curiosity rover has sent back a 1.8-billion pixel image of the Martian landscape. It's the highest-resolution panorama of the Mar's surface to date, and it's stunning.

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Nasa mars photo
Click the image to see a larger version. | Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The composite panorama is the result of more than 1,000 separate images taken around Thanksgiving 2019. The images were taken while the "mission team was out for the Thanksgiving holiday," NASA said in the announcement. "Sitting still with few tasks to do while awaiting the team to return and provide its next commands, the rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings from the same vantage point several days in a row."

The image shows Glen Torridon, a part of Mount Sharp that Curiosity is looking into. That image took more than six-and-a-half hours over four days to get the image. To get the lighting right, Curiosity only took photos from noon to 2pm daily.  

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Thanks, Curiosity, we all probably needed something a little inspiring and amazing at the end of this very long decade, I mean, week.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.