PIA26250: Perseverance Views a Transit of Mercury
 Target Name:  Mercury
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars 2020 Rover
 Spacecraft:  Perseverance
 Instrument:  Mastcam-Z 
 Product Size:  200 x 296 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26250.tif (98.58 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26250.jpg (5.215 kB)

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NASA's Perseverance Mars rover used its Mastcam-Z camera to capture Mercury – seen as a tiny speck – passing in front of the Sun on Oct. 28, 2023, the 953th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

The top portion of the GIF zooms in on the upper part of the Sun seen in Mastcam-Z's view; the reticle highlights the planet's transit. The GIF has been sped up 400 times; the portion of Mercury's transit captured by Mastcam-Z took place in just under an hour.

Arizona State University leads the operations of the Mastcam-Z instrument, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, on the design, fabrication, testing, and operation of the cameras, and in collaboration with the Niels 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).

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.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

Space Science Institute produced this GIF.

For more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

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