Color Images from Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Engineering Cameras

Images by Sol


Color images created by processing raw images taken by the Left and Right NavCams, Front and rear HazCam pairs and Watson Camera of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover are offered here. Images from the Mastcam-Z will be added later.

On desktop browsers use keys ↑ ↓ ← → ↵ (Enter) for fast browsing through the album pages.

On mobiles swipe left, right and up for navigation through the album pages.

Use the list on the left to access the images. It is sorted by the Martian day (Sol) since landing, the 2nd entry shows the available color images for each Sol.


Hazcams images added, showing the helicopter.
Watson camera images added, showing the helicopter.
Scikit-Image intensity enhancement added.
Improved swipe navigation to enable pinch-zoom.
Layout updated. Link to original raw image added.
Improved automatic contrast adjustment.
Compensated for geometric and luminosity lens effects. Added estimated camera color correction matrix.
Initial release. Only Navcam images so far processed. Calibration still preliminary, no camera profile applied yet.

Color Calibration

The intention is to approximate the impression a human observer would have when standing on the surface of planet Mars. Though, as of now, the image processing pipeline is not yet completed due to missing camera calibration information. As soon this information becomes available it will be integrated into the processing pipeline.

Currently, the only color processing applied is a static color correction matrix based on results of previous Mars missions. The color variation visible between individual images is most likely caused by dynamic or static effects of the image sensor, for example static channel-based nonlinear gain effects or dynamic sensor read-out effects.

Comparing images from the 1976 Viking Landers, 1997 Mars Pathfinder, 2004 Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and the 2012 Curiosity Rover reveal a close match between the relative calibration method, based on the Rover-attached color targets and the absolute calibration method based on the pre-flight camera spectral response measured under standard illumination on Earth. That means, images taken during a clear day on Mars not only show the color perception a human on the planet would see by themselves, but also the colors a geologist on Earth would see when observing a Martian rock sample brought back to Earth and viewed during noon under a clear blue sky on Earth.

During dust storm season, the relative and absolute calibrations don't match, but these conditions usually occur only for a few weeks per Martian year. They are characterized by diffuse reddish ambient illumination compared to the sharp and defined shadows during clear sky days.

Image Processing

The images are automatically created daily from raw data available at Mars Perseverance Raw Image Gallery.

Processing pipeline:

  • Debayer the NLE and NRE images. The NLF and NRF images are already debayered.
  • Linearize by decompanding via the inverted 11-to-8 bit lookup table, LUT 0, squareroot. Though the AD DC_OFFSET value is missing.
  • Compensate radial gain variation.
  • Compensate horizontal sensor read out intensity decay.
  • Compensate wide angle distortion on large images
  • Until data for creation of a camera profile is available, apply simple static color correction matrix.
  • Increase contrast by applying non-linear intensity function
  • Not yet enabled: Apply camera profile for a D50 standard illuminant, an ICC file created by ArgyllCMS or DCamProf.
  • Not yet enabled: Whitebalance for sRGB. This wouldn't change the general color characteristics according to results from previous missions, only corrects a small color tint of bright surfaces.

The creation of the camera profile would be following the process as presented at the 2017 International Mars Society Convention. The presentation describes the creation of a camera profile for the 1976 Viking Lander digital scanning cameras and the 2012 Curiosity Rover MAHLI camera. Slides:

Image use policy

Free usage of all Mars surface Navcam/Hazcam images published here in original form or your derived work, for example panoramas, if you add as reference and observe the NASA/JPL image use policy.

The Mars-Earth Logo shown above on this page is not available for any usage, © 2013 Holger Isenberg. If you like to use it, contact me.

Related Resources

Cameras Documentation

Author and Publisher

All Mars images derived from original data published by NASA and JPL on Mars Perseverance Raw Image Gallery.

Image processing framework by Holger Isenberg ([email protected]) using Python, NumPy, scikit-image, OpenCV-Python, Perl, ImageMagick, and Album.
Impressum on main page: