The Future Is Here
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What Is This?

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This panorama is so out of focus that at first I thought this was some kind of giant alien mothership descending upon a massive mountain. The truth is that this photo comes from another planet.

It comes from Mars. What you are looking at here is the belly of Spirit, taken on Sol 1925—June 2, 2009—by the rovers' microscopic imager instrument, which is located on the end of her robotic arm. The image's tilt—which is out of focus because the microscope is designed to focus on 2.4-inch targets—shows the actual orientation of the rover, skewed to the right. Hopefully, this will help Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers to figure a way to free her. [JPL]