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3-D Images: Spirit
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25-Oct-2006
 
 
'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Stereo)
'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Stereo)

This 360-degree view, called the "McMurdo" panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as "Low Ridge." There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's "Winter Haven" is presented as a stereo anaglyph to show the scene three-dimensionally when viewed through red-blue glasses (with the red lens on the left).

Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the "Inner Basin" and "Columbia Hills" inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the processing and mosaicking of those final pieces of the panorama, and that image will be released on the Web shortly to augment this McMurdo panorama view.

This beautiful scene reveals a tremendous amount of detail in Spirit's surroundings. Many dark, porous-textured volcanic rocks can be seen around the rover, including many on Low Ridge. Two rocks to the right of center, brighter and smoother-looking in this image and more reflective in infrared observations by Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer, are thought to be meteorites. On the right, "Husband Hill" on the horizon, the rippled "El Dorado" sand dune field near the base of that hill, and lighter-toned "Home Plate" below the dunes provide context for Spirit's travels since mid-2005. Left of center, tracks and a trench dug by Spirit's right-front wheel, which no longer rotates, have exposed bright underlying material. This bright material is evidence of sulfur-rich salty minerals in the subsurface, which may provide clues about the watery past of this part of Gusev Crater.

Spirit has stayed busy at Winter Haven during the past six months even without driving. In addition to acquiring this spectacular panorama, the rover team has also acquired significant new assessments of the elemental chemistry and mineralogy of rocks and soil targets within reach of the rover's arm. The team plans soon to have Spirit drive to a very nearby spot on Low Ridge to access different rock and soil samples while maintaining a good solar panel tilt toward the sun for the rest of the Martian winter.

Despite the long span of time needed for acquiring this 360-degree view -- a few images at a time every few sols over a total of 119 sols because the available power was so low -- the lighting and color remain remarkably uniform across the mosaic. This fact attests to the repeatability of wintertime sols on Mars in the southern hemisphere. This is the time of year when Mars is farthest from the sun, so there is much less dust storm and dust devil activity than at other times of the year.

The left-eye and right-eye mosaics combined into this anaglyph were generated from a hybrid combination of the Pancam's near-infrared and blue filters to bring out details that are otherwise visible only in some of the filters.

Image credit:NASA/JPL/Cornell
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'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Color Stereo)
'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (Color Stereo)

This 360-degree view, called the "McMurdo" panorama, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. From April through October 2006, Spirit has stayed on a small hill known as "Low Ridge." There, the rover's solar panels are tilted toward the sun to maintain enough solar power for Spirit to keep making scientific observations throughout the winter on southern Mars. This view of the surroundings from Spirit's "Winter Haven" is presented as a stereo anaglyph to show the scene three-dimensionally when viewed through red-blue glasses (with the red lens on the left).

Oct. 26, 2006, marks Spirit's 1,000th sol of what was planned as a 90-sol mission. (A sol is a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds). The rover has lived through the most challenging part of its second Martian winter. Its solar power levels are rising again. Spring in the southern hemisphere of Mars will begin in early 2007. Before that, the rover team hopes to start driving Spirit again toward scientifically interesting places in the "Inner Basin" and "Columbia Hills" inside Gusev crater. The McMurdo panorama is providing team members with key pieces of scientific and topographic information for choosing where to continue Spirit's exploration adventure.

The Pancam began shooting component images of this panorama during Spirit's sol 814 (April 18, 2006) and completed the part shown here on sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006). The panorama was acquired using all 13 of the Pancam's color filters, using lossless compression for the red and blue stereo filters, and only modest levels of compression on the remaining filters. The overall panorama consists of 1,449 Pancam images and represents a raw data volume of nearly 500 megabytes. It is thus the largest, highest-fidelity view of Mars acquired from either rover. Additional photo coverage of the parts of the rover deck not shown here was completed on sol 980 (Oct. 5 , 2006). The team is completing the processing and mosaicking of those final pieces of the panorama, and that image will be released on the Web shortly to augment this McMurdo panorama view.

This beautiful scene reveals a tremendous amount of detail in Spirit's surroundings. Many dark, porous-textured volcanic rocks can be seen around the rover, including many on Low Ridge. Two rocks to the right of center, brighter and smoother-looking in this image and more reflective in infrared observations by Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer, are thought to be meteorites. On the right, "Husband Hill" on the horizon, the rippled "El Dorado" sand dune field near the base of that hill, and lighter-toned "Home Plate" below the dunes provide context for Spirit's travels since mid-2005. Left of center, tracks and a trench dug by Spirit's right-front wheel, which no longer rotates, have exposed bright underlying material. This bright material is evidence of sulfur-rich salty minerals in the subsurface, which may provide clues about the watery past of this part of Gusev Crater.

Spirit has stayed busy at Winter Haven during the past six months even without driving. In addition to acquiring this spectacular panorama, the rover team has also acquired significant new assessments of the elemental chemistry and mineralogy of rocks and soil targets within reach of the rover's arm. The team plans soon to have Spirit drive to a very nearby spot on Low Ridge to access different rock and soil samples while maintaining a good solar panel tilt toward the sun for the rest of the Martian winter.

Despite the long span of time needed for acquiring this 360-degree view -- a few images at a time every few sols over a total of 119 sols because the available power was so low -- the lighting and color remain remarkably uniform across the mosaic. This fact attests to the repeatability of wintertime sols on Mars in the southern hemisphere. This is the time of year when Mars is farthest from the sun, so there is much less dust storm and dust devil activity than at other times of the year.

The left-eye and right-eye mosaics combined into this anaglyph were generated using the Pancam's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 480-nanometer filters from the left camera and the 750-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters from the right camera, color balanced in such a way so that when the combination is fused by the viewer's eye and brain, the scene is perceived in three dimensions in natural or approximately true color.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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11-Sep-2006
 
 
This view is a stereo anaglyph of the Everest panorama, showing it in three dimensions to viewers using red-blue stereo glasses.
Stereo Version of Spirit's 'Everest' Panorama

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to record a 360-degree vista, dubbed the "Everest" panorama, from the top of "Husband Hill" in early October 2005. This view is a stereo anaglyph of the Everest panorama, showing it in three dimensions to viewers using red-blue stereo glasses.

The images combined into this anaglyph were taken through the Pancam's blue L7 and R1 filters during Spirit's 620th through 622nd Martian days (Oct. 1 through Oct. 3, 2005). Geometric and brightness adjustments have been applied. The view is presented in a cylindrical-perspective projection with rover tilt removed.

For additional information about the Everest panorama, see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA03095 .

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Related Animation (11.4 MB)
 
This view is a stereo anaglyph of the Seminole panorama, showing it in three dimensions to viewers using red-blue stereo glasses.
Stereo Version of Spirit's 'Seminole' Panorama

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to record a 360-degree vista, dubbed the "Seminole" panorama, from partway down the south side of "Husband Hill" in November 2005. This view is a stereo anaglyph of the Seminole panorama, showing it in three dimensions to viewers using red-blue stereo glasses.

The images combined into this anaglyph were taken through the Pancam's infrared L2 and R2 filters during Spirit's 672nd through 677th Martian days (Nov. 23 through Nov. 28, 2005). Geometric and brightness adjustments have been applied. The view is presented in a cylindrical-perspective projection with rover tilt removed.

For additional information about the Seminole panorama, see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA03640 .

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Related Animation (4 MB)
 
This view is a stereo anaglyph of the Thanksgiving panorama, showing it in three dimensions to viewers using red-blue stereo glasses.
Stereo Version of Spirit's 'Thanksgiving' Panorama

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to record a 360-degree vista, dubbed the "Thanksgiving" panorama, from the northwestern side of "Husband Hill" in late 2004. This view is a stereo anaglyph of the Thanksgiving panorama, showing it in three dimensions to viewers using red-blue stereo glasses.

The images combined into this anaglyph were taken through the Pancam's infrared L2 and R2 filters during Spirit's 318th through 325th Martian days (Nov. 24 through Dec. 2, 2004). Geometric and brightness adjustments have been applied. The view is presented in a cylindrical-perspective projection with rover tilt removed.

For additional information about the Thanksgiving panorama, see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07334 .

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Related Animation (8.8 MB)
04-Apr-2006
 
 
This 3-D panorama image shows brightly colored soil which was churned up by Spirit on its eastward drive toward the northwestern flank of 'McCool Hill'.
Bright Soil Near 'McCool'(3-D)

While driving eastward toward the northwestern flank of "McCool Hill," the wheels of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit churned up the largest amount of bright soil discovered so far in the mission. This image from Spirit's panoramic camera (Pancam), taken on the rover's 788th Martian day, or sol, of exploration (March 22, 2006), shows the strikingly bright tone and large extent of the materials uncovered.

Several days earlier, Spirit's wheels unearthed a small patch of light-toned material informally named "Tyrone." In images from Spirit's panoramic camera, "Tyrone" strongly resembled both "Arad" and "Paso Robles," two patches of light-toned soils discovered earlier in the mission. Spirit found "Paso Robles" in 2005 while climbing "Cumberland Ridge" on the western slope of "Husband Hill." In early January 2006, the rover discovered "Arad" on the basin floor just south of "Husband Hill." Spirit's instruments confirmed that those soils had a salty chemistry dominated by iron-bearing sulfates. Spirit's Pancam and miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined this most recent discovery, and researchers will compare its properties with the properties of those other deposits.

These discoveries indicate that salty, light-toned soil deposits might be widely distributed on the flanks and valley floors of the "Columbia Hills" region in Gusev Crater on Mars. The salts, which are easily mobilized and concentrated in liquid solution, may record the past presence of water. So far, these enigmatic materials have generated more questions than answers, however, and as Spirit continues to drive across this region in search of a safe winter haven, the team continues to formulate and test hypotheses to explain the rover's most fascinating recent discovery.

This stereo view combines images from the two blue (430-nanometer) filters in the Pancam's left and right "eyes." The image should be viewed using red-and-blue stereo glasses, with the red over your left eye.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
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27-Jan-2006
 
this image shows a group of boulders informally named 'FuYi' (3-D)
Gusev Rocks Solidified from Lava (3-D)

In recent weeks, as NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has driven through the basin south of "Husband Hill," it has been traversing mainly sand and dune deposits. This week, though, Spirit has been maneuvering along the edge of an arc-shaped feature called "Lorre Ridge" and has encountered some spectacular examples of basaltic rocks with striking textures. This panoramic camera (Pancam) image shows a group of boulders informally named "FuYi." These basaltic rocks were formed by volcanic processes and may be a primary constituent of Lorre Ridge and other interesting landforms in the basin.

Spirit first encountered basalts at its landing site two years ago, on a vast plain covered with solidified lava that appeared to have flowed across Gusev Crater. Later, basaltic rocks became rare as Spirit climbed Husband Hill. The basaltic rocks that Spirit is now seeing are interesting because they exhibit many small holes or vesicles, similar to some kinds of volcanic rocks on Earth. Vesicular rocks form when gas bubbles are trapped in lava flows and the rock solidifies around the bubbles. When the gas escapes, it leaves holes in the rock. The quantity of gas bubbles in rocks on Husband Hill varies considerably; some rocks have none and some, such as several here at FuYi, are downright frothy.

The change in textures and the location of the basalts may be signs that Spirit is driving along the edge of a lava flow. This lava may be the same as the basalt blanketing the plains of Spirit's landing site, or it may be different. The large size and frothy nature of the boulders around Lorre Ridge might indicate that eruptions once took place at the edge of the lava flow, where the lava interacted with the rocks of the basin floor. Scientists hope to learn more as Spirit continues to investigate these rocks.

As Earth approaches the Chinese New Year (The Year of the Dog), the Athena science team decided to use nicknames representing Chinese culture and geography to identify rocks and features investigated by Spirit during the Chinese New Year celebration period. In ancient Chinese myth, FuYi was the first great emperor and lived in the east. He explained the theory of "Yin" and "Yang" to his people, invented the net to catch fish, was the first to use fire to cook food, and invented a musical instrument known as the "Se" to accompany his peoples' songs and dances. Other rocks and features are being informally named for Chinese gods, warriors, inventors, and scientists, as well as rivers, lakes, and mountains.

Spirit took this image on the rover's Martian day, or sol, 731 (Jan. 23, 2006). This stereo view combines images from the two blue (430-nanometer) filters in the Pancam's left and right "eyes." The image should be viewed using red/blue stereo glasses, with the red over your left eye.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
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