Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 16, 1997

Mars: Yogi And Friends In 3D
Credit: IMP Team JPL, NASA

Explanation: A ramp from the Pathfinder lander, the Sojourner robot rover, airbags, a couch, Barnacle Bill, and Yogi Rock appear together in this 3D stereo view of the surface of Mars. Barnacle Bill is the rock just left of the solar-paneled Sojourner and Yogi is the big friendly-looking boulder at the right. The "couch" is the angular rock shape visible on the horizon. Look at the image with red/blue glasses (... or just hold a piece of clear red plastic over your left eye and blue or green over your right) to get the dramatic 3D perspective. The stereo view was recorded by the remarkable Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) camera. The IMP has two optical paths for stereo imaging and ranging and is equipped with an array of color filters for spectral analysis. Operating as the "first astronomical observatory on Mars" the IMP has also recorded images of the Sun and Deimos, the smallest of Mars' two tiny moons. Overcoming communications problems and computer resets the Pathfinder is transmitting new color images which should be available July 18.

Tomorrow's picture: A Message from Earth

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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&: Michigan Tech. U.