Opportunity rover left us with one last beautiful panorama of Mars

NASA Opportunity Rover’s Legacy – A Stunning Panorama of Mars

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity leaves us with one final, glorious panorama

In a new post, NASA reveals what it says is the final "parting shot" that Opportunity captured before the dust storm killed it. 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.

'This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery, ' said Opportunity project manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"To the right of center you can see the rim of Endeavour Crater rising in the distance", he said. The mission came to an end last summer when Opportunity became trapped in what eventually became a global dust storm on Mars.

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For almost 15 years, Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004 along with its twin rover Spirit, studied the Martian surface, returning knowledge about the planet's geology and environment that will prove useful to scientists long into the future and likely serve as a guide for upcoming missions.

The trailblazing mission ended after almost 15 years of exploring the surface of Mars, but its legacy will live on.

Communication with Opportunity was lost on June 10 past year, when a planet-wide dust storm - one of the most intense in decades - hid its location. 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.

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You can view the finer details of the huge panorama at NASA's JPL website. It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater. NASA also produced a 3D-version of the panorama, viewable through blue-and-red 3D glasses.

Although the panorama provides one last look of Opportunity's resting grounds, the rover's very last image tells a slightly bleaker tale. This is the result of the massive storm that ultimately took Opportunity out of commission previous year. This is because Oppy did not have time to image those frames with color filters before the devastating dust storm struck.

NASA explained that parts of the photo remained in black and white because Opportunity hadn't had enough time to record the locations using the green and violet filters before the dust storm engulfed the red planet, preventing the rover from charging its solar-powered batteries.

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A dust storm blanketed its location in June a year ago.

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