NASA’s Perseverance rover creates ‘accidental Zen art’ as it rolls across the Martian surface

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According to NASA, the photo of Mars was voted by the public as “the image of the week”.

NASA’s Perseverance rover captured a stunning image of Martian rocks spread across a barren strip of land. Some of the rocks appear to be covered in sand, suggesting there was a lot of wind just before the rover captured the image.

“Making accidental zen art while I’m driving. Mars may be sorry, but it has a certain charm,” the rover tweeted from its official handle.

According to NASA, the photo was voted by the public as the “Picture of the Week” from April 24-30. It was captured by Perseverance’s Right Mastcam-Z camera.

Mastcam-Z, a pair of cameras placed on the mast of the rover, can take color images and videos, 3D stereo images and has a powerful zoom. These cameras are placed next to each other and point in the same direction, providing a 3D view similar to what human eyes would see, only better.

Several Twitter users referred to the “very sandy” environment on Mars and asked if there was wind there too.

Another user commented on the fine sand on the Martian surface.

A user was curious if the white marks on the rock, which were visible in the image, were caused by the rover.

Another user also echoed a similar view and asked why the rover was rolling “on the rock instead of around it.”

According to NASA, dust storms are common on Mars, especially in spring and summer in the southern hemisphere. They could last a few days.

These images give scientists insight into how dust particles move and with what force, and whether they could fill the atmosphere or impact equipment on Mars.

In January this year, a large dust storm blanketed the southern hemisphere of Mars, causing some NASA probes to pause on the surface of Mars. In fact, the Insight lander had to go into “safe mode” to conserve battery power after the storm blocked sunlight from reaching its solar panels. And Perseverance’s partner, the Ingenuity helicopter, has had to postpone flights until conditions improve.

While Perseverance and Ingenuity primarily focus on finding signs of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet, the rover collects soil samples to return to Earth on a future human mission for scientists to study here.

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