Pancam views the surface around the rover, using two high-resolution stereo cameras to complement the rover's navigation cameras. Delivering panoramas of the martian surface with unprecedented detail, the instrument's narrow-angle optics provide angular resolution more than three times higher than that of the Mars Pathfinder cameras. Pancam's spectacular images help scientists decide what rocks and soils to analyze in detail, and how to interpret the results. Panoramic imaging also provides information on the surface features of the area around the rover, the distribution and shape of nearby rocks, and the presence of dunes and features carved by ancient waterways. Pancam, working in conjunction with Mini-TES, provides a wealth of information about the surrounding environment. Images taken at various wavelengths tell scientists about the mineralogical make-up of the martian surface.
Source: NASA, Cornell University