Mastcam-Z Video: “How we see Mars”

Contributed by Eleni Ravanis

What is it like to work as a member of the science support team for the Mastcam-Z instrument? And how do we “see” Mars with Mastcam-Z? I’ve made a video about just that!

I’m a PhD student in the Earth Sciences department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and one of the Student Collaborators on the Mastcam-Z team. I made this video as an assignment in a graduate course and also as an entry in a graduate student video competition (I was happily one of 3 winners; you can watch the other, non-Mars related, winners here and here). In my video, I give an overview of the Mastcam-Z instrument and how the downlink science support team assists with the preliminary analysis of Mastcam-Z data. I use the example of a target known as Beavertail, which was also featured as one of our team favorites in April, 2021.

The video also discusses the longer-term goals of the Mars 2020 mission, and touches upon some of the research I am doing as part of my PhD. Along with my supervisor, Dr. Sarah Fagents, I am modeling ash dispersal on Mars to investigate the plausibility of sources for a potential ash deposit in and around Jezero crater. I hope to present this work at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in December on behalf of the Mastcam-Z and Mars 2020 science teams.

You can watch my video by clicking play in the feature image above or by clicking here, and you can read more about the video competition in a story from the University of Hawaiʻi News.