This mosaic was acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on Sol 1359 (October 30, 2007). The approximately 112 degree wide view shows the terrain ahead of the rover to better map South Promontory located just south of Home Plate. South Promontory was a candidate site for Spirit to spend her third Martian winter at, but the rover team decided to winter on the north side of Home Plate where the slopes offered 25 degrees of northernly tilt instead of just the 20 degrees that South Promontory had to offer. Because Spirit is located in the southern hemisphere of Mars, the sun only appears in the northern sky during the winter. A north-facing slope helps Spirit maximize the amount of solar energy received to better her chances of survival. Being as Spirit had an excessive accumulation of dust on her solar arrays at the time this view acquired, the 5 degree difference in northernly tilt between the north side of Home Plate and South Promontory could have meant the difference between surviving and not surviving the cold, dark winter of Mars.
Pancam's 432 nm filter was used in making this mosaic. Two versions are provided at full resolution: a mosaic made from the left eye only, and a stereo anaglyph for 3D viewing through red-blue glasses.
Pancam Instrument Lead
February 18, 2019