Saturday, October 01, 2022

Exploring the Lakes of Mars

Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin's Jezero Crater interactive map allows you to take a virtual tour of the landing site on Mars of the 2020 Perseverance rover. This tour includes a synthesized 360 degree panorama of the crater as it might have once looked, when water still existed on Mars. 

The interactive Jazero Crater map shows the track of Perseverance, revealing the parts of the Jezero crater which have already been explored by the Mars rover. The map also includes a number of synthetic and real interactive 'Street View' panoramas. The real 360 degree panoramas use imagery captured by the Mars rover to show the view from inside the Jezero crater. The synthetic panoramas have been rendered from orbital image data of Mars. 

The synthetic panoramas include one, labeled Paleo Lake View, which shows the crater filled with water. This recreation of how the crater might have looked when water still existed on Mars is based on 'putative paleolake-shorelines and the upper delta-top boundary'. The Paleo Lake View panorama and all the other panoramas  include  Martian soundtrack. This soundtrack was created using data from the air pressure sensor on NASA's InSight lander, to give an impression of the sound of wind blowing through the Jezero crater.

You can follow the Perseverance rover's continuing mission on the Mars 2020 Mission Tracker. The Mars 2020 Mission Tracker is a 3D interactive map of Mars, developed by the Spatial Studies Lab at Rice University, which is being used to track the Perseverance Rover on Mars. Using this 3D map you can follow the progress of the Perseverance Rover on Mars and view all the latest images captured by the rover and the Perseverance drone. 

NASA's 2020 Mars mission is examining the geology of Mars looking for the biosignatures of past microbial life on the red planet. In order to carry out this mission the Perseverance Rover is equipped with the Ingenuity helicopter drone. The Ingenuity drone is being used to help scout for points of interest for the Perseverance rover to investigate and study during its exploration of Mars.

The date control at the top of the Mars 2020 Mission map allows you to view the movements of the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity drone over the course of the mission's duration. If you select a date on this control the markers on the 3D map of Mars will show where Perseverance and Ingenuity were located on that day. When you select a day from the date control the image gallery also updates to display the images captured by the drone and rover on the selected day.

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