142 Images from Perseverance Were Used to Created This Insane Martian Panorama

Mars panorama captured by Perseverance 1 photo
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/ASU
We’ve seen images of Mars before, sent back over the years by the small army of machines NASA has up there. But the ones transmitted back to Earth by Perseverance last week are the most exciting yet, if only because they are extremely fresh.
Perseverance made a perfect landing in the Jezero crater on Mars on February 18, following a journey several-months-long through the blackness of space. Soon after, and for the first time, the bulk of humanity got to enjoy footage recorded by the many cameras on the rover during landing. And now come the first images of the rover’s alien surroundings on the Red Planet.

What you see as the main photo of this piece is described by NASA as the first high-definition look of the planet from Perseverance’s perspective. It was taken with an instrument called Mastcam-Z - a panoramic and stereoscopic camera that will be used to determine the mineralogy of the Martian surface, and assist with rover operations ranging from driving to core-sampling.

The panorama was taken by the rover on February 21, after Mastcam-Z completed a full 360-degree rotation. It comprises 142 images stitched together to show the Jezero crater, its rim, and what NASA says it is the cliff face of an ancient river delta.

“We’re nestled right in a sweet spot, where you can see different features similar in many ways to features found by Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity at their landing sites,” said in a statement Jim Bell of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. This organization is the one in charge with operating the Mastacam-Z.

The Perseverance rover is equipped with seven instruments, including the camera responsible for this panorama. There’s the SuperCam to offer chemical composition analysis, PIXL to to detect and analyze chemical elements, and SHERLOC will be used to detect organic compounds.

The list ends with MEDA, used to measure temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, and relative humidity, RIMFAX to handle centimeter-scale resolution of the geologic structure of the subsurface, and MOXIE, a tool that will be used to try and generate oxygen.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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