NASA's Curiosity rover returned its first color panoramic views from the inside of Gale crater last week, and they are a wonder to behold. First of all, they're positively massive. The first high-resolution color mosaic, which you can download here, is a staggering 29,184 x 4,144 pixels. The full-res TIFF file comes it at over a third of a gigabyte in size (the full-res jpg is a much more manageable 9 MB).

That level of detail lets you really take in just how beautiful — not to mention how Earth-like — Mars' terrain really is. Acording to NASA's Photojournal: "The images show a landscape that closely resembles portions of the southwestern United States in its morphology, adding to the impression gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail mosaic released early in the week."

Now, Andrew Bodrov over at 360 Cities has pieced together an interactive version of Curiosity's 360º photo, and it is beyond awesome, allowing you to pan, zoom and pitch as though you were physically on the surface of Mars. It's hands-down our favorite take on Curiosity's view of the Red Planet yet. Check the screen shots, or try it out for yourself below. I recommend going full screen and hiding the controls for maximum immersive effect.

Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 2 in New Mexico

[360 Cities]