Perseverance Rover Landing Ellipse in Jezero Crater

Mars with circle around the landing site
January 5, 2021
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The white circle near the center of this image of Mars represents the location where NASA’s Perseverance rover is expected to land on Feb. 18, 2021.

See the clean version (no text annotations).

The landing ellipse, measuring 4.8 miles by 4.1 miles (7.7 kilometers by 6.6 kilometers), places the rover at the site of an ancient river delta which could harbor signs of fossilized microbial life. The fan-like shape of the delta is visible in this image, as is the crater rim. The crater was once filled with a lake several hundred feet deep.

Jezero Crater sits within the Isidis Planitia region of Mars, where an ancient asteroid or comet impact left behind a large basin some 750 miles (1200 kilometers) across. This event forever changed the rocks in and around the basin. A later, smaller impact created Jezero Crater within the Isidis impact basin. There is evidence of ancient river flow into Jezero, forming a lake that has long since been dry. Scientists believe that these events likely created environments friendly to life.

The basemap image featured here was taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera aboard the ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Express orbiter. Light color processing has been applied to highlight surface features. The original image can be found here. The European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, operates the ESA mission. The High Resolution Stereo Camera was developed by a group with leadership at the Freie Universität Berlin.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more information about the mission, go to: