This is a clear picture because photo-editing expert Kevin Gill used a technique called focus blending to get the best possible view. Focus Merge uses a series of photos taken at different focus points, stacking them and using the sharpest pixels. You can see a larger version on Kevin’s Flickr page.
Photoshop calls it “auto-merge,” Jill said on Twitter. “I’m not sure about Percy, but MSL [Curiosity rover] Is this on board the rover. I wrote my own algorithm and used it here.”
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The drill and cam are both located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. The core sample of the rock is the size of a little pinkie finger. This is the 10The tenth The core sample taken by Perseverance and the first sample from the current rover site, Delta Jezero. This area is particularly interesting because it appears to be an ancient river delta, which may provide evidence of past life on Mars.
Since arriving in the delta, the probe has been observing and testing various different rocks to see if they are good candidates for core samples in this region. The rover team said that the first few rocks considered were either too easily broken or had too rough surfaces to safely hold the drill. They were specifically looking for a rock that was scientifically interesting, had a reasonable amount of surface relief, was large enough to suit erosion and two types, and they expected it to be strong for drilling.
The best candidate was this rock, which the team named Skinner Ridge. The first abrasive tests revealed the inner surface of the rock without breaking the surrounding area. The entire roving toolkit was used to inspect and document abrasion patch, then it was time for central processing.
Iona Brockie, a sample engineer at NASA/JPL wrote on the Perseverance rover blog that their collection went very smoothly. “At 6.70 cm, it is our longest significant core to date,” Brooke wrote. “Perhaps the most exciting thing was seeing those same traumas visible in the eroded spot were also visible in the core.”
This core sample is interesting enough that it might get you a one-way ticket to return to Earth in the future, with the proposed Mars Sample Return Mission, which will return to Earth selected core samples collected by the rover.
According to the rover team’s naming protocols, the Perseverance mission identifies areas after the various national parks on Earth. Rocks, dents, and cores are named after the current area. The rover is currently on the Shenandoah quadrangle, named after the American National Park in Virginia. Skinner Ridge Feature in Shenandoah.