360 Degree Panorama Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

360 Degree Panorama Mars Pathfinder Landing Site

This is the first contiguous, uniform 360-degree color panorama taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) over the course of sols 8, 9, and 10 (Martian days). Different regions were imaged at different times over the three Martian days to acquire consistent lighting and shadow conditions for all areas of the panorama. At left is a lander petal and a metallic mast which is a portion of the low-gain antenna. On the horizon the double “Twin Peaks” are visible, about 1-2 kilometers away. The rock “Couch” is the dark, curved rock at right of Twin Peaks. Another lander petal is at left-center, showing the fully deployed forward ramp at far left, and rear ramp at right, which rover Sojourner used to descend to the surface of Mars on July 5. Immediately to the left of the rear ramp is the rock Barnacle Bill, which scientists found to be andesitic, possibly indicating that it is a volcanic rock (a true andesite) or a physical mixture of particles. Just beyond Barnacle Bill, rover tracks lead to Sojourner, shown using its Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument to study the large rock Yogi. Yogi, low in quartz content, appears to be more primitive than Barnacle Bill, and appeared more like the common basalts found on Earth. The tracks and circular pattern in the soil leading up to Yogi were part of Sojourner’s soil mechanics experiments, in which varying amounts of pressure were applied to the wheels in order to determine physical properties of the soil. During its traverse to Yogi the rover stirred the soil and exposed material from several centimeters in depth. During one of the turns to deploy Sojourner’s Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer, the wheels dug particularly deeply and exposed white material. Spectra of this white material show it is virtually identical to the rock Scooby Doo, and such white material may underlie much of the site. Deflated airbags are visible at the perimeter of all three lander petals. The IMP is a stereo imaging system with color cap.

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