PIA25022: Spanning the Delta of Mars' Jezero Crater (video)
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Instrument:  Mastcam-Z 
 Product Size:  934 x 518 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA25022.tif (1.269 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA25022.jpg (75.3 kB)

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Figure 1

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This 60-second video pans across an enhanced-color composite image, or mosaic, of the delta at Jezero Crater on Mars. The delta formed billions of years ago from sediment that an ancient river carried to the mouth of the lake that once existed in the crater. Taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA's Perseverance rover, the video begins looking almost due west of the rover, and sweeps to the right until it faces almost due north.

Fourteen images compose the mosaic that provides the base image for this video (included as an additional figure); they were acquired on Nov. 28, 2021 (the 275th sol, or Martian day, of Perseverance's mission) as the rover sat at the highest vantage point in the "South Séítah" geological unit, allowing a perspective that included boulders and other features atop the delta as well as farther west and northwest across its surface.

The mountains in the background are the rim of Jezero Crater. The view also shows brown hills in the middle distance that are part of an ancient delta, where a river hit a lake in the crater. The rover has spent the last several months exploring the sandy and rocky terrain in the foreground.

The color bands of the image have been processed to improve visual contrast and accentuate color differences. The sky would not actually look blue to a human explorer on the Red Planet.

The Mastcam-Z investigation is led and operated by Arizona State University in Tempe, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California, on the design, fabrication, testing, and operation of the cameras, and in collaboration with the Neils Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen on the design, fabrication, and testing of the calibration targets.

A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance:



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