NASA's most powerful rover yet is regularly sending back images from the Red Planet, and you can stay updated on the latest snapshots from the Perseverance rover.
Just like with NASA's other missions, the photo hub for all Perseverance postcards is the rover's "raw images" gallery. These images are the unprocessed, raw pictures that are sent from the Martian surface, before they are color-corrected or otherwise altered for public release.
NASA also periodically collects raw images into panoramas or colorizes them, which provides more context. The full gallery of these altered pictures is here. These are also the pictures you tend to see at news conferences and in Space.com stories, since they have been made a little prettier for public consumption.
Join our forums here to discuss the Perseverance rover on Mars. What do you hope finds?
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took several pictures of Perseverance landing; its High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HIRISE) camera regularly uploads images to this website. The orbiter may be able to capture more pictures of Perseverance moving around on the surface in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Of course, you can also keep track of what's going on with the mission on social media. Mentioning every Twitter, Instagram or Flickr feed that plays with rover images would be an epic task, so we'll just concentrate on a couple of examples that focus (again) on NASA or NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which houses rover operations.
The Perseverance Image Bot on Twitter regularly posts new raw images, offering great reminders to revisit the NASA gallery. Another great resource comes from Kevin Gill, who officially works as a software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; in his free time, Gill processes images from Perseverance and other missions, posting the incredible results to a Flickr page and to Twitter.
Also make sure to follow the NASA Perseverance mission's social media feeds, which provide constant updates on all of the rover's activities — including the prettied-up images for public consumption. You can follow the mission on Twitter or on Facebook; NASA also has numerous social media feeds where you may see a few Percy images mixed in with other things.
Knowing when to look for images could be a full-time job in itself, but luckily, planetary scientist Emily Lakdawalla (formerly of the Planetary Society) posted an informative Twitter thread about how to stay on top of the rover's work.
Simply put, most rover activity tends to happen between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time on Mars, which is the warmest time of the day. To relay imagery, the rover also has to be within sight of MRO, the usual orbiter to send images to Earth, although that varies too. Since "Mars time" runs on a 24-hour, 37-minute "Earth day" must be taken into account, the upload timing varies — but Lakdawalla's thread points you to the best time to take a look.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace