Feb 25, 2021
The 360-degree panorama (high-resolution .tif image) was created from 142 individual images taken on February 21, 2021 (Sol 3) using Mastcam-Z, a mast-mounted camera system on NASA’s Perseverance rover.
This is the first 360-degree panorama taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / ASU.
Mastcam-Z is a multispectral, stereoscopic imaging investigation on the Mars 2020 mission’s Perseverance rover.
Based on the successful Mastcam instrument on the Curiosity rover, it consists of a pair of focusable, 4:1 zoomable cameras that acquire visible color, stereo panoramas at resolutions sufficient to resolve 0.7 mm features at 2 m and 3.3 cm features at 100 m distance.
Mastcam-Z is also equipped with bandpass filters (400 to 1,000 nm) that are used to distinguish unweathered from weathered materials and to provide important insights into the mineralogy of many silicates, oxides, oxyhydroxides, and diagnostic hydrated minerals. The instrument also images the Sun directly using a pair of solar filters.
This wind-carved rock seen in first 360-degree panorama taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument shows just how much detail is captured by the camera systems. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / ASU.
The Mastcam-Z cameras have the capability to zoom, focus, acquire data at high-speed (video rates of 4 frames/sec or faster for subframes), and store large amounts of data in internal storage.
These capabilities permit investigators to examine targets that are otherwise out of the rover’s reach.
The cameras can observe time-dependent phenomena such as dust devils, cloud motions, and astronomical phenomena, as well as activities related to driving, sampling, and caching.
This image shows the rim of Jezero Crater. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / ASU.
Mastcam-Z has three overarching science roles:
(i) characterize the overall landscape geomorphology, processes, and the nature of the geologic record (mineralogy, texture, structure, and stratigraphy) at the rover field site; Mastcam-Z observations provide a full description of the topography, geomorphology, geologic setting, and the nature of past and present geologic processes of the Perseverance field site, especially as they pertain to habitability; studies include observations of rocks and outcrops to help determine morphology, texture, structure, mineralogy, stratigraphy, rock type, history/sequence, and associated depositional, diagenetic, and weathering characteristics; characterizing the overall landscape and geologic record also requires observations of regolith to help evaluate physical and chemical alteration, along with stratigraphy, texture, mineralogy, and depositional/erosional processes;
(ii) assess current atmospheric and astronomical conditions, events, and surface-atmosphere interactions and processes; it makes observations of clouds, dust-raising events, properties of suspended aerosols (dust, ice crystals), astronomical phenomena, and aeolian transport of fines; Mastcam-Z images characterize potential ice- or frost-related (periglacial) geomorphic features, and even the characterization of frost or ice, if present, and its influence on rocks and fines;
(iii) provide operational support and scientific context for rover navigation, contact science, sample selection, extraction, and caching, and the other selected Mars-2020 investigations; Mastcam-Z images assist rover navigation by determining the location of the Sun and of horizon features, and by providing information pertinent to rover traversability (e.g., distant hazards, terrain meshes, etc.); Mastcam-Z observations enable other Perseverance science instruments to identify and characterize materials to be collected for in situ analyses, coring, and caching, or other purposes (e.g., hardware monitoring).
Thanks to: http://www.sci-news.com