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NASA stitches 142 Perseverance rover images into epic Mars panorama

Immerse yourself in a high-def view of Jezero Crater with a "cliff face of an ancient river delta in the distance."

The Perseverance rover's first high-def Mastcam panorama of Jezero Crater is a doozy.

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

Hello, Mars, you're looking sharp. It's been a week since NASA's Perseverance rover arrived on the red planet. We've seen the glorious landing footage, the initial peeks at its surroundings, and now a massive 360-degree, high-definition panorama showing Jezero Crater.

NASA released the panorama Wednesday, saying the image "reveals the crater rim and cliff face of an ancient river delta in the distance." Jezero, with its history of water, is a prime spot for the rover to perform its mission of seeking out signs of past microbial life on Mars.

The sweeping image is stitched together from 142 pictures captured by Perseverance's dual-camera Mastcam-Z system. It's only the rover's second panorama ever (here's the first one), and it's the machine's first in high def.  

"Mastcam-Z is a dual-camera system equipped with a zoom function, allowing the cameras to zoom in, focus, and take high-definition video, as well as panoramic color and 3D images of the Martian surface," said NASA. 

The panorama is our first real taste of what the Mastcam-Z cameras can do. It's a stunning preview of what promises to be a pioneering mission.

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