Data continues pouring in from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-built Perseverance rover following its historic landing on Mars last week, including the first high-definition, 360-degree panoramic image of the rover’s landing site.
Perseverance has sent back other images in lower quality since touching down on the Red Planet on Thursday that were gathered by hazard and navigation cameras meant to observe the rover’s landing, rather than the rover’s powerful main camera system.
But the panoramic image released by JPL on Tuesday was taken by the rover’s sensitive Mastcam-Z instrument as it pivoted in place atop its mast, JPL said in a written statement. It was created from 142 images that were “stitched together,” depicting details as small as a tenth of an inch across closest to the rover.
As more images of the landing site have come in, scientists have been pleased with what they have been seeing, according to Jim Bell of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, who serves as the Mastcam-Z instrument’s principal investigator.
“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,” Bell said.
Scientists are planning to host a discussion about the new findings at 1 p.m. Thursday, according to JPL. It will air on NASA Television, NASA’s website and the NASA app, as well as the agency’s Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Daily Motion and YouTube accounts.
More information on the Perseverance Mars rover can be found online at jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mars-2020-perseverance-rover.