Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Story Map of Mars

I suspect that nobody reading this will ever step foot on Mars. Today however you can take a virtual stroll on the Red Planet thanks to the amazing Jazero Explorer.

Next month the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone will land on Mars inside the Jezero crater. The Ingenuity drone will be used to scout for points of interest which the Perseverance rover will then investigate and study. Perseverance is equipped with a number of scientific instruments which will help it to analyze the geology and environment of the red planet.

You can learn more about the Jazero crater and even explore its terrain for yourself on the amazing Jazero Explorer. The Jazero Explorer is a 3D map of the crater and its immediate surroundings. It is also an amazing story map which provides a fascinating introduction to the Perseverance landing site on Mars.

As you progress through the Jezero Explorer you are taken on a tour of the Perseverance landing site and the Jezero crater. During this guided tour you can learn more about why the crater was chosen as the focus of the 2020 Mars mission, leaning more about the crater's geology, terrain, sediments, channels and river systems. One reason way Jazero was chosen for this mission is because it is has been identified as one of the most promising environments to discover the biosignatures of past microbial life on Mars.

The Jazero Explorer was created by Daven Quinn, who is a structural geologist. For his PhD at Caltech Daven investigated the tectonics and stratigraphy of the Northeast Syrtis Major, Mars. He is currently a research scientist in the Macrostrat lab at the University of Wisconsin.

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