Mastcam-Z, this is how the eyes of Perseverance work on Mars

Mastcam-Z, this is how the eyes of Perseverance work on Mars

The NASA Perseverance rover has been on Mars since February 18, working on the goal of finding signs of past life on the planet. Since then it has sent various images and videos of the environment around it that have surprised by their warmth and sharpness.

These images have been made possible thanks to a instrument called Mastcam-Z. It’s about a dual camera system equipped with a zoom function, that allows cameras to zoom in, focus and take high-definition videos, as well as panoramic color images and 3D images of the Martian surface.

This dual camera system is located on the mast of the Perseverance at eye level of a person about 1.98 meters tall. The cameras are separated by 24.1 centimeters to allow stereo viewing.

High-quality color images

Its design is an evolution of the Mastcam used by Curiosity. This rover had two cameras with a fixed focal length, while the Mastcam-Z has zoom capability. Thanks to its unique characteristics, the Perseverance can provide a detailed examination of near and distant objects.

As detailed by CNN, through this system the robotic astrobiologist has the ability to capture color images of equivalent quality to those obtained with an HD digital camera. In addition, the Mastcam-Z cameras can zoom and obtain panoramas, videos and 3D images that will allow scientists to know first-hand the characteristics of the Jézero crater, where the rover landed, and of the Red Planet.