The most recent self-portrait of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the solar panels still gleaming in the martian sunlight and carrying only a thin veneer of dust two years after the rover landed and began exploring the red planet.
Spirit took this mosaic of images on the 586th sol, or day, of exploration (Aug. 27, 2005), as part of a mammoth undertaking that resulted in the largest panorama ever produced on Mars. This image is a subset of that panorama, showing just the rover.
The vertical projection used here produces the best view of the rover deck itself, though it distorts the ground and antennas somewhat.
This image is an approximate true-color rendering using the 600-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 480-nanometer filters.
Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
Explore further: NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby