Spirits Paige Panorama of the Interior of Home Plate
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Spirit's 'Paige' Panorama of the Interior of 'Home Plate'

March 9, 2006
On Feb. 19, 2006, the 758th Martian day of exploration of the red planet by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, the rover acquired this panoramic view of the interior of "Home Plate," a circular topographic feature amid the "Columbia Hills." This view, called the "Paige" panorama, is from the top of Home Plate. It shows layered rocks exposed at the edge as well as dark rocks exhibiting both smooth and sponge-like "scoriaceous" textures. To the east from this vantage point, "McCool Hill" looms on the horizon. At the base of McCool Hill is a reddish outcrop called "Oberth," which Spirit may explore during the rapidly approaching Martian winter. "Von Braun" and "Goddard" hills are partially visible beyond the opposite rim of Home Plate.

The limited spatial coverage of this panorama is the result of steadily decreasing power available to the rover for science activities as the Martian winter arrives and the sun traces a lower path across the sky. The rover team anticipates that the north-facing slopes of McCool Hill should sufficiently tilt the rover's solar panels toward the sun to allow Spirit to survive the winter.

This panorama consists of 72 separate images from 4 different Pancam filters, and covers about 230 degrees of terrain around the rover. The slightly upturned edges of the mosaic result from the rover's tilt of 17 degrees toward the interior of "Home Plate" when the images were acquired. This is an approximate true-color rendering of a cylindrical projection using the Pancam's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. Image-to-image seams have been eliminated from the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see.

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