This is a sub-section of the "geometrically improved, color enhanced" version of the 360-degree panorama heretofore known as the "Gallery Pan," the first contiguous, uniform panorama taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) over the course of Sols 8, 9, and 10. Different regions were imaged at different times over the three Martian days to acquire consistent lighting and shadow conditions for all areas of the panorama.
The IMP is a stereo imaging system that, in its fully deployed configuration, stands 1.8 meters above the Martian surface, and has a resolution of two millimeters at a range of two meters. In this geometrically improved version of the panorama, distortion due to a 2.5 degree tilt in the IMP camera mast has been removed, effectively flattening the horizon.
The IMP has color capability provided by 24 selectable filters -- twelve filters per "eye." Its red, green, and blue filters were used to take this image. The color was digitally balanced according to the color transmittance capability of a high-resolution TV at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and is dependent on that device. In this color enhanced version of the panorama, detail in surface features are brought out via changes to saturation and intensity, holding the original hue constant. A threshold was applied to avoid changes to the sky.
At the bottom of the image, two of the Lander petals are visible. At the extreme right of the image, the Atmospheric Structure Instrument and Meteorology package (ASI/MET) mast, with its three windsocks, is visible.
Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The IMP was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.
Photojournal note: Sojourner spent 83 days of a planned seven-day mission exploring the Martian terrain, acquiring images, and taking chemical, atmospheric and other measurements. The final data transmission received from Pathfinder was at 10:23 UTC on September 27, 1997. Although mission managers tried to restore full communications during the following five months, the successful mission was terminated on March 10, 1998.