This is no ordinary photo from Mars.
The aerial view shared by a Nasa satellite features a rare cameo from one of the planet’s only inhabitants.
China’s Rover Zhurong can be seen as a small purple dot among windswept dunes.
The car-sized robot landed on the red planet in May 2021 and is one of three stationed there alongside NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers.
Early in its mission, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted Zhurong and its landing craft from above.
The satellite has now shared its latest snapshot of the device, complete with the long and winding trails it left in its wake.
The image was captured on March 11 by the MRO’s HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera.
The lander and the spacecraft’s outer shell are also visible in the composite, which captures the rover’s entire journey across the surface.
“This HiRISE image shows how far the rover has traveled in the 10 months since it landed,” the HiRISE team wrote in a blog entry.
“In fact, its exact path can be traced by the wheel tracks left on the surface.”
HiRISE captures images that cover vast areas of Martian terrain while being able to discern features as small as a kitchen table.
It helps Nasa better understand the evolution of the planet’s surface.
The team operating the powerful tool is based at the University of Arizona.
They will continue to analyze images of Zhurong — as well as Mars itself — as the rover continues its journey across the surface.
The rover, named after a mythical Chinese god of fire, is studying the planet’s surface soil and atmosphere.
In addition to examining the planet’s geology, the machine looks for signs of microscopic life – past and present.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8542295/nasa-birds-eye-image-mars-mind-blowing-secret/ Nasa unveils a bird’s eye view image of Mars with an overwhelming mystery hidden within