Take a billion-pixel tour of Mars

A mosaic of images taken by Curiosity at a site on Mars known as Rocknest.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

A composite of nearly 900 images taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover can give people on Earth a sense of what it's like to stand on the Red Planet from millions of miles away. Take the tour in the display above.

Compromising more than 1.3 billion pixels, the image released by NASA on its website is from the "Rocknest" site, where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand, according to NASA. Curiosity used three cameras to take the component images on several different days between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16, 2012.

The rover used its telephoto camera of Curiosity's Mast Camera instrument, supplemented with 21 frames from the Mastcam's wider-angle camera and 25 black-and-white frames -- mostly of the rover itself -- from the Navigation Camera. It was produced by the Multiple-Mission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The interactive gives readers the opportunity to explore "Mount Sharp," a rock that the wind on Mars has shaped to look like a bird, as well as some laser-firing experiments in the Martian soil.