This Amazing Mars Photo Makes You Feel Like You're Actually On The Planet

NASA has shared countless Mars photos over the years, but this latest one from the Curiosity rover may be one of the best we've ever seen. Seriously. As crazy as it is to say, pictures from Mars are pretty common these days. There are numerous robots exploring Mars right now, all of which have advanced cameras to photograph the planet in incredible detail. Whether it be Perseverance, Curiosity, or Ingenuity, all of these have shared views of Mars that once seemed impossible.

2021 alone has been a particularly busy year for Martian photos. One of the most recent images revealed a gorgeous (and strange) Mars sunset as captured by the Perseverance rover. NASA's also shared pictures of unfathomably large Mars dunes, tantalizing rock formations, and parts of the planet that look like they belong on Earth. For a planet that's mostly rocks and sand, Mars continually impresses with its varied beauty.

Related: Perseverance Spots Freaky 'Mars Frog' Rock Hanging Out On The Sand

While all of the Mars photos this year have been impressive for their own reasons, the one you see above easily stands out as one of the most jaw-dropping. NASA published this latest photo from Curiosity on November 23 — calling it a "postcard from Mars." If there was ever a contest for the most beautiful space postcard, this one would surely win it. The center of the picture shows Curiosity making its way down Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-tall mountain the rover's been exploring since 2014. The far-right side of the photo reveals the Rafael Navarro Mountain, with part of Mount Sharp creeping up behind it. All of this lies inside Mars' 96-mile-wide Gale Crater (the edges of which are seen off in the distance of the picture). Combine those sights with the orange color of the rocks and Mars' iconic blue sky, and the end result is spectacular.

The image is impressive enough on its own, but a lot of work happened behind the scenes to make it look like this. The photo you see at the top of the article was created using two combined images from Curiosity. One picture was taken on November 16 at 8:30 AM, with the second one captured at 4:10 PM local Mars time.

As NASA explains, "The two times of day provided contrasting lighting conditions that brought out a variety of landscape details." The team then combined the images and added color to the original black-and-white photos. What you're seeing is an actual view of the Martian surface — just with a small touch of artistic interpretation. One of the original, non-edited photos above shows the same scene before NASA's additions.

Mars may not be a friendly planet for human life, but there's no denying how incredibly beautiful it is. Imagine waking up to sights of endless mountains, blue and orange skies, and rock formations of all shapes and sizes. There may come a day where future humans can do that, but for now, we'll have to rely on rovers like Curiosity to capture those views for us.

Next: Watch NASA's Helicopter Fly Around Mars In This Incredible New Video

Source: NASA

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