NASA releases the final panorama that Opportunity took on Mars

NASA  JPL-Caltech  Cornell  ASU

NASA JPL-Caltech Cornell ASU

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", said in a statement accompanying the photo Opportunity project manager John Callas. "Just to the left of that, rover tracks begin their descent from over the horizon and weave their way down to geological features that our scientists wanted to examine up close". It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater.

There was little NASA could do to save the Opportunity rover once the dust storm on Mars swallowed almost the entire planet.

Before "Oppy" finally kicked the bucket-the rover succumbed to a severe global dust storm in June 2018-it managed to beam back one last parting gift to Earth which the space agency has now released: a spectacular 360-degree panorama of what turned out to be the vehicle's final resting place. The panorama is made up of 354 individual images, which Opportunity snapped from May 13th to June 10th. But the echoes of the rover's mission to the Red Planet can still be heard.

B, better known as Opportunity, stopped responding to commands in August 2018, prompting NASA to officially declare the mission's end last month. As the black bar at the bottom of the frame shows, the rover went dark before it could send the entire image (and before it could send the full-frame versions of the two thumbnails). 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.

The filters admit light centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).

Opportunity, along with its partner, Spirit, launched in 2003 as part of the Mars Exploration Rover program to study Mars' surface.

It landed on Mars' Meridiani Planum plain near its equator on January 25, 2004. If you combine these images by putting each one into the red, green, or blue colour channel, you can see an approximate true-colour image of what Mars looks like.