Mars looks a lot like Earth in this 360-degree Curiosity rover video

Mars looks a lot like Earth in this 360-degree Curiosity rover video
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Imagine traveling over 30 million miles through space to the surface of Mars just to stumble upon what could easily be the setting of a spaghetti western.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory just released its latest image transmissions from Mars rover Curiosity that show a 50-foot-high, 200-foot-long mesa, rock formations and the strange beauty of uncharted nothingness.

The latest shot composites from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover
Source: 
NASA/JPL

The images were shot by a robot with an arm-mounted camera called the Mastcam, and were released four years after Curiosity landed on the red planet. They're the result of over 130 high-resolution images put together, then adjusted to show what the surface would look like under something similar to Earth's daylight conditions.

A closer look at the Mastcam arm, on which the camera's mounted
Source: 
NASA/JPL

All that flat surface is formed from mud deposits of the Martian lakebed. The hills and peaks are what's left of wind-eroded sandstone. 

The Curiosity actually already accomplished its main mission years ago, in which it "found and examined an ancient habitable environment," according to the JPL. Now, on the extended mission, NASA's trying to use Curiosity to find out, based on old lakes, how Mars got so rough.

In the meantime, back on Earth we get breathtaking images of one incredible road trip. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

MORE FROM

You’ll be able to watch the solar eclipse from ridiculous heights, thanks to these balloons

Watch the eclipse live, anywhere, as if you're in space.

Scientists say you should play video games on your breaks at work

Somebody file an expense report for an Xbox, pronto.

Apparently scientists didn’t know why rain drizzle happened — until now

Save this science for a rainy day.

19 things Siri can do for you so you can streamline your life

It can help you if you use it the right way.

Employees are getting microchips put in their hands at this US company

They cost $300 a piece, but this U.S. company is about to foot the bill for any employee who signs up.

You’ll be able to watch the solar eclipse from ridiculous heights, thanks to these balloons

Watch the eclipse live, anywhere, as if you're in space.

Scientists say you should play video games on your breaks at work

Somebody file an expense report for an Xbox, pronto.

Apparently scientists didn’t know why rain drizzle happened — until now

Save this science for a rainy day.

19 things Siri can do for you so you can streamline your life

It can help you if you use it the right way.

Employees are getting microchips put in their hands at this US company

They cost $300 a piece, but this U.S. company is about to foot the bill for any employee who signs up.