NASA's Curiosity rover has begun sending back its first high-resolution photographs of Mars, and they're pretty stunning. The craft successfully landed on the Red Planet earlier this month, after dramatically descending into Mars' Gale Crater. Curiosity's early photos were grainy and dim, but they've since been replaced with notably sharper, full-color shots, capturing a Martian landscape that's both surreal, yet somehow familiar. The set is undoubtedly headlined by a massive, high-resolution panorama of the rover's landing spot, taken by Curiosity's Mastcam. The craft's environment seems rocky, hazy, and, as NASA points out, remarkably similar to the desert topography across the southwestern US.
You can find some of the most spellbinding images in the gallery below. We'll update it with more photos as Curiosity's mission progresses.
Update: A photographer has compiled a stunning 360-degree interactive panorama of the Martian surface as seen from Curiosity.