Rounded Rocks: Stereoscopic Corner #6

Introduction, by Brian May

May I introduce you to the stereoscopic work of Mary Friargiu?  Mary is one of a select few in my Instagram community who took up the challenge of generating her own stereoscopic views from the material available in the Mastcam-Z archive.   Claudia Manzoni and I have been contributing stereos in our own ’Stereo Corner’ of this website since the landing of Perseverance on Mars.   Other commitments have recently slowed us down somewhat, so it’s fitting that a stereoscopist of Mary’s abilities is able to keep the flow of stereos going.   She uses our techniques and our templates, so this work is completely compatible with our own, and, as you’ll see, is of very high quality.  She begins posting here with a number of spectacular Mars “rounded rock” portraits.   Enjoy !     -Brian May.

Selected Stereo Views Contributed by Mary Friargiu (Iglesias, Italy), with the supervision of Brian May and Claudia Manzoni

I developed my passion for Stereoscopy during the past couple of years. My interest in astro-stereos made with Mastcam-Z images came from Dr. Brian May’s encouragement to visit the Mars Perseverance archive, and his “Stereoscopic Corner” blog articles with Claudia Manzoni. I’ve been so captivated by such stereoviews coming from another world that I decided to practice and create my own stereo pictures with rocks, dune sands, and landscapes from the Martian surface. I love how the complexity of certain rocks or the textures of sand really stand out when viewed in stereoscopic 3D – I believe it’s the best way to enjoy views from another planet, because it truly feels like standing on it!

In this small collection of six stereo views assembled from Mastcam-Z images, a common thread can be found: these rocks look somehow pleasantly smoothed and rounded. This last characteristic particularly stands out when viewing a Martian rock in stereo, usually giving the observers a nice sense of volume and consistency – almost to the point that they try to touch the object through the screen! That’s what brought me to focus on these kinds of rocks and to offer 3-D Anaglyph, Parallel, and Cross-eyed stereo views to the blog. From earlier to later Sols, the eyes of Perseverance have gifted us with some spectacular views of such rocks, that I’ll present you in order to enjoy in beautiful stereoscopic 3-D!

(1)  Starting from Sol 28, what might look like a circular gathering of rocks at first – almost resembling a nice bread loaf. However, giving a second look in stereo, it would seem that sand has covered this block inadvertently giving the appearance of edges.

(2)  Continuing the search, we jump to Sol 82 with this fascinating cluster of particularly smooth and round rocks – most likely sculpted by Martian winds and sands. The bigger rock in the foreground also presents a tiny cavity on the upper surface.

(3)  A very peculiar-shaped rock captured during Sol 86. It may appear like a parrot head looking up – can you spot the tiny eye? The magic of stereoscopy is that it allows people to go beyond the limits of the viewable.

(4)  Another set of rocks partly covered by sand, this time spotted on Sol 102. The biggest of them, very thick and plump to the eye when viewed in stereo, also looks slightly split vertically in half.

(5)  Sol 108 offers a captivating sight of distinguished rocks. This stereoscopic view provides some details to look at – like the texture of the two rocks in the foreground.

(6) The nice roundness of this rock, in the last Astro-stereo view from relatively recent Sol 281, is a perfect example of the above-mentioned sense of proper tridimensionality when viewing the structure of such objects.