NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Snaps Stunning 1.8-Billion-Pixel Panorama

Friday, 06 Mar, 2020

Back in 2013, the rover produced 1.3-billion-pixel panorama image using both Mastcam cameras as well as Navigation Cameras. Washington State University astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch thinks their presence would be consistent with the presence of life on Mars some three billion years ago, which could be detected by Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer, or MOMA, which uses a less destructive analyzing method than that performed by the current Curiosity Rover, allowing for the collection of larger molecules. Imaging specialists carefully assemble Mars panoramas by creating mosaics composed of individual pictures and blending their edges to create a seamless look. Composed of more than 1,000 images taken over the course of four days (between November 24 and December 1, 2019) - and assembled over subsequent months - the photo shows a region of Mars called "Glen Torridon", according to a press release. When the mission team was out for the Thanksgiving, the rover had a rare chance to image its surroundings from the same vantage point several days in a row, the agency added. A version without the rover contains almost 1.8 billion pixels; a version with the rover contains almost 650 million pixels.

"The rover's Mastcam.relied on its medium-angle lens to produce a lower-resolution, almost 650-million-pixel panorama that includes the rover's deck and robotic arm", NASA said on its official website.

According to Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity's project scientist, this was the first time the Curiosity rover mission has produced a stereo 360-degree panorama. A second spherical of judging chosen the nine finalist essays that have been open to a public internet ballot earlier than Thomas Zurbuchen, the affiliate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, made the ultimate choice.

Specifically, it shows the Glen Torridon area of Mars in the Gale Crater, in a way you may have never seen before. And they've found evidence that liquid water once existed on the now-arid planet, likely forming lakes and other bodies of water well suited for preserving ancient life - that is, if life ever existed there.Now, it seems that every time scientists make a new discovery about Mars, the conversation quickly shifts to: "When are we going to go there and see for ourselves?"

Aside from revealing the name of the Mars 2020 rover, the upcoming live stream will also feature appearances from key figures. You can read it here.

When the spacecraft carrying Perseverancegets to Mars, it will fly through the thin atmosphere behind a heat shield, deploy parachutes, and then a vehicle called a sky crane will lower the rover down to the surface of the planet.