Opportunity rover left us with one last beautiful panorama of Mars

NASA  JPL-Caltech  Cornell  ASU

In late spring 2018, before the storm began assembling itself over the Martian plains, Opportunity took a series of photos of the Perseverance Valley. To the left are tabular rocks, which tend to be thin and flat, and to the right are pitted rocks, which have compositions unlike any rocks previously seen during the mission. The 360-degree photo consists of many images that show the Martian soil and Opportunity's final resting place in Perseverance Valley.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", said John Callas, Opportunity project manager at JPL.

"To the right of center you can see the rim of Endeavor Crater rising in the distance", pointed Callas.

B, better known as Opportunity, stopped responding to commands in August 2018, prompting NASA to officially declare the mission's end last month.

After almost 15 years exploring the Red Planet, the Opportunity rover captured the images for what would be its final panorama from May 13 to June 10, 2018.

NASA's Opportunity Rover took one last stunning image of Mars's landscape, before losing touch with it after 15 years last month.

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This matches prior work examining tree rings that suggested a spike of carbon-14 about the same time. 775 and another in A.D. 994. And while enormous solar storms are a rare occurrence, they seem to occur periodically, the researchers explained.

The Opportunity was accompanied by its twin rover, Spirit, for several years on Mars. Opportunity's scientific discoveries contributed to our unprecedented understanding of the planet's geology and environment, laying the groundwork for future robotic and human missions to the Red Planet.

Perseverance Valley sits on the inner slope of Endeavour Crater's western rim and is composed of shallow troughs stretching from the top of the rim to the bottom, approximately the length of two football fields. You can explore a higher resolution (and zoomable) version of the giant panorama on NASA's website.

An annotated version of Opportunity's final panorama.

The gallery includes the last images Opportunity obtained during its mission (black-and-white thumbnail images from the Pancam that were used to determine how opaque the sky was on its last day) and also the last piece of data the rover transmitted (a "noisy", incomplete full-frame image of a darkened sky).

This storm-which blanketed the entire planet-caused NASA to lose contact with the solar-powered rover.

A dust storm blanketed its location in June a year ago. This is because Oppy did not have time to image those frames with color filters before the devastating dust storm struck. "Now she can rest, beneath a thin layer of dust, knowing she did humanity proud".

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