NASA's Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)
Sols 0466-0474: View of Jezero Crater Delta
Intriguing Martian rocks surround NASA’s Perseverance rover in this panorama showing an ancient river delta, made from images captured by the Mastcam-Z camera system. This 4.5-billion-pixel mosaic, which combines 1,008 individual frames, is the most detailed landscape panorama ever returned from Mars. These images were taken in 2022 on June 12, 13, 16, 17, and 20 (the 466th, 467th, 470th, 471st, and 474th Martian days, or sols, of Perseverance’s mission).
Imaging coverage of the sky has also been digitally smoothed and expanded based on the actual sky color observed as the panorama was being acquired on Mars.
The delta in Mars’ Jezero Crater is an area where scientists surmise that, billions of years ago, a river once flowed into a lake and deposited rocks and sediments in a fan shape. Deltas are believed to be the best places on Mars to search for potential signs of ancient microbial life. Arrival at the Jezero delta has been a primary goal of the Perseverance mission since the rover landed in the crater in February 2021.
The panorama shows sedimentary rocks of great interest to scientists. The Perseverance rover has abraded the surface of several rocks in this area and acquired compositional information. It also has collected rock samples that the Mars Sample Return campaign could bring back to Earth in the future, enabling detailed laboratory studies as part of a search for signs of ancient life.
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.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover. 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 Neils Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen on the design, fabrication, and testing of the calibration targets.
Other panoramas of Mars by Perseverance rover:
The planet Earth has proven to be too limiting for our awesome community of panorama photographers. We're getting an increasing number of submissions that depict locations either not on Earth (like Mars, the Moon, and Outer Space in general) or do not realistically represent a geographic location on Earth (either because they have too many special effects or are computer generated) and hence don't strictly qualify for our Panoramic World project.But many of these panoramas are extremely beautiful or popular of both.So, in order to accommodate our esteemed photographers and the huge audience that they attract to 360Cities with their panoramas, we've created a new section (we call it an "area") called "Out of this World" for panoramas like these.Don't let the fact that these panoramas are being placed at the Earth's South Pole fool you - we had to put them somewhere in order not to interfere with our Panoramic World.Welcome aboard on a journey "Out of this World".