What have been you doing on November 8, 2023? I couldn’t say for myself, however I can let you know what NASA’s Curiosity rover was doing: sitting nonetheless on its 4,002nd day on Mars, taking snapshots of the Martian floor.
Now, mission staff members at Jet Propulsion Laboratory have stitched collectively two collection of frames from the rover’s entrance and rear Hazcams to create a novel video capturing time’s passage on the Pink Planet.
The Hazcams—brief for Hazard-Avoidance Cameras—are utilized by rover drivers to navigate the difficult 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.
In the course of the window between rover operations being suspended and the conjunction, the Curiosity staff recorded 12 hours of photos 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 to be like alongside Gediz Vallis, a valley on the 18,000-foot Mount Sharp. The rear Hazcam picture appears to be like towards the Gale Crater flooring from the slopes of Mount Sharp, which juts out from the 96-mile-wide crater. Curiosity has taken its justifiable share of stunning photos from the mountain’s slopes, in addition to of intriguing rock formations.
Later within the day, the digital camera’s publicity instances are over a minute, which causes noise within the photos that look a bit like snow. (We will guarantee you, it’s not snowing on Mars.) Round eight seconds into the Rear Hazcam view, a cosmic ray hit the digital camera sensor, inflicting a black splotch within the picture.
Different visible artifacts could also be as a consequence of Martian mud that has settled on the digital camera 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 photos taken by Curiosity.
Curiosity retains trudging alongside on Mars’ floor because of the dogged work of NASA engineers. Earlier this 12 months, the rover bought 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 hold the mission lively for much more years to come back.
Extra: Go on a Panoramic Video Tour of Mars With the Curiosity Rover