High-definition, zoomable view of Mars captured by Nasa's Perseverance rover | Check images
The US space agency on Wednesday released the first 360-degree panorama taken by Mastcam-Z, a dual-camera system equipped with a zoom function.
Nasa’s Perseverance rover has been frequently sending back Mars’ photographs to mission control on Earth since the day it safely landed on the Red planet. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Wednesday released the first 360-degree panorama taken by Mastcam-Z, a dual-camera system equipped with a zoom function.
The Mastcam-Z sent 142 individual images after rotating its mast 360 degrees on the third Martian day of the mission and the US space agency stitched them together to create the instrument's first 360-degree panorama.
The zoomable pair of cameras aboard the Perseverance rover has the capability of taking high-definition video, panoramic colour and 3D images of the Martian surface.
The first high-definition panorama reveals the crater rim and cliff face of Jezero Crater, considered as an ancient lakebed formed billions of years ago.
The two cameras of Mastcam-Z are mounted on the rover’s mast at the eye level of a 2 metres tall person and provide stereo vision. The cameras can produce colour images with a quality similar to that of a consumer digital HD camera. Another processed image of a wind-carved rock shows how much detail is captured by the camera systems.
“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,” Jim Bell, the instrument’s principal investigator at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, said in a statement.
The navigation cameras, known as Navcams, aboard the Perseverance rover also captured a panorama over the weekend which provided a good look at the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry, one of the instruments on the rover’s stowed arm.
The Mastcam-Z team will discuss the new panorama during a question and answer session at 2.30am IST on February 26. It will be aired live on Nasa television and the space agency’s website and social media accounts.