NASA is celebrating its Mars rover named Perseverance, hitting 1,000 Martian days on the Red Planet with a 360-degree look at the Jezero Crater, the location the rover has been exploring since it touched down there in 2021.
The space agency has released a 360-degree mosaic piece of the location where Perseverance is currently stationed, and the image is composed of 993 individual pictures that were all snapped with the rover's Mastcam-Z instrument. The images were captured across a span of days, beginning on November 3 and ending on November 6. For those wondering about pixels, NASA writes the image is an insane 2.38 billion pixels.
The images and video linked here were captured by Perseverance while it was parked atop "Airey Hill." The images were captured during the solar conjunction, which is a period of temporarily severed communications with NASA due to Mars moving directly behind the Sun, obscuring any instructions sent from Earth. Notably, the Jezero Crater was once home to liquid water as Perseverance has captured signs of ancient river beds that once would have slow-flowing water that carved its way through the many rocks the rover is surrounded by.
"One tempting target are these light-colored rocks partway up the rim," says Farley. "They may have interacted with hot water in a hydrothermal environment - another exciting place to hunt for evidence of past life."
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