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NASA reveals panoramic view of Mars

Published 11:56 AM ET, Mon July 9, 2012
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NASA has unveiled the latest panoramic view of Mars -- as seen by its venerable rover, Opportunity. The image shows an impact crater blasted billions of years ago, alongside fresh tracks created by the rover itself. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ
The 360-degree image is made up of 817 separate shots taken by Opportunity, which has been exploring Mars for more than eight years. The rover's own solar arrays can be seen in the foreground, with the martian landscape visible in the background. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ
Mars exploration rovers Opportunity and Spirit were built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, before being sent on a mission originally scheduled to last three months. Spirit stopped functioning in 2010, but Opportunity is still going strong. Getty Images
Opportunity, a six-wheeled solar-powered robot, has carried out a number of tasks during its lengthy time on Mars, exploring craters, digging trenches and testing rocks and soils. NASA/AFP/Getty Images
It also discovered evidence that a large area of Mars was covered in water at some time in the planet's past. NASA/Getty Images