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See a Rover’s Day on Mars in 10 Seconds


What have been you doing on November 8, 2023? I couldn’t say for myself, however I can inform you what NASA’s Curiosity rover was doing: sitting nonetheless on its 4,002nd day on Mars, taking snapshots of the Martian floor.

Now, mission workforce members at Jet Propulsion Laboratory have stitched collectively two collection of frames from the rover’s entrance and rear Hazcams to create a singular video capturing time’s passage on the Pink Planet.

The Hazcams—quick for Hazard-Avoidance Cameras—are utilized by rover drivers to navigate the tough Martian terrain, which is roofed with rocks, slopes, and different obstacles. However the rover’s operations have been curtailed simply earlier than Mars’ photo voltaic conjunction, when photo voltaic exercise can disrupt radio communications between Earth and the rover.

Throughout the window between rover operations being suspended and the conjunction, the Curiosity workforce recorded 12 hours of photographs on each Hazcams. The 25-frame movies catalog views of Mars’ Gale Crater between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. native time on November 8, 2023.

The entrance Hazcam’s view appears alongside Gediz Vallis, a valley on the 18,000-foot Mount Sharp. The rear Hazcam picture appears towards the Gale Crater flooring from the slopes of Mount Sharp, which juts out from the 96-mile-wide crater. Curiosity has taken its fair proportion of lovely photographs from the mountain’s slopes, in addition to of intriguing rock formations.

Curiosity 12-Hour View of Mars (Rear Hazcam)

Later within the day, the digicam’s publicity occasions are over a minute, which causes noise within the photographs that look a bit like snow. (We are able to guarantee you, it isn’t snowing on Mars.) Round eight seconds into the Rear Hazcam view, a cosmic ray hit the digicam sensor, inflicting a black splotch within the picture.

Different visible artifacts could also be on account of Martian mud that has settled on the digicam lenses over Curiosity’s 11-year tenure on the planet. And although the Hazcam views seize Mars in black-and-white, NASA publishes loads of coloration photographs taken by Curiosity.

Curiosity retains trudging alongside on Mars’ floor due to the dogged work of NASA engineers. Earlier this yr, the rover obtained a serious software program replace—the primary vital one since 2016—which scientists hope will improve its driving velocity and scale back put on on its wheels, which can maintain the mission energetic for much more years to return.

Extra: Go on a Panoramic Video Tour of Mars With the Curiosity Rover

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