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Press Release Images: Opportunity
04-Feb-2004
Opportunity Sees Tiny Spheres In Martian Soil
Full Press Release
Poised for Discovery
Poised for Discovery

This image taken by the front hazard-avoidance camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's arm in its extended position. The arm, or instrument deployment device, was deployed on the ninth martian day, or sol, of the mission. The rover, now sitting 1 meter (3 feet) away from the lander, can be seen in the foreground.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
Browse Image (35 kB) | Large (66 kB)
Mars in a Grain of Sand
Mars in a Grain of Sand

This image highlights the patch of soil examined by the rover's microscopic imager on the 10th day, or sol, of its mission. The outer image was taken by the rover's navigation camera, the middle image by the panoramic camera and the inner image by the microscopic imager. Opportunity is currently sitting 1 meter (3 feet) away from its now-empty lander in a shallow crater at Meridiani Planum, Mars.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Mars Under the Microscope
Mars Under the Microscope

This magnified look at the martian soil near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site, Meridiani Planum, shows coarse grains sprinkled over a fine layer of sand. The image was captured by the rover's microscopic imager on the 10th day, or sol, of its mission. Scientists are intrigued by the spherical rocks, which can be formed by a variety of geologic processes, including cooling of molten lava droplets and accretion of concentric layers of material around a particle or "seed."

The examined patch of soil is 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across. The circular grain in the lower left corner is approximately 3 millimeters (.12 inches) across, or about the size of a sunflower seed.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/US Geological Survey
Browse Image (125 kB) | Large (933 kB)
Mars Under the Microscope (color)
Mars Under the Microscope (color)

This magnified look at the martian soil near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site, Meridiani Planum, shows coarse grains sprinkled over a fine layer of sand. The image was captured by the rover's microscopic imager on the 10th day, or sol, of its mission and roughly approximates the color a human eye would see. Scientists are intrigued by the spherical rocks, which can be formed by a variety of geologic processes, including cooling of molten lava droplets and accretion of concentric layers of material around a particle or "seed."

The examined patch of soil is 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across. The circular grain in the lower left corner is approximately 3 millimeters (.12 inches) across, or about the size of a sunflower seed.

This color composite was obtained by merging images acquired with the orange-tinted dust cover in both its open and closed positions. The blue tint at the lower right corner is a tag used by scientists to indicate that the dust cover is closed.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/US Geological Survey
Browse Image (94 kB) | Large (1.6 MB)
Mars Under the Microscope (stretched)

This magnified look at the martian soil near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site, Meridiani Planum, shows coarse grains sprinkled over a fine layer of sand. The image was captured on the 10th day, or sol, of the rover's mission by its microscopic imager, located on the instrument deployment device, or "arm." Scientists are intrigued by the spherical rocks, which can be formed by a variety of geologic processes, including cooling of molten lava droplets and accretion of concentric layers of material around a particle or "seed."

The examined patch of soil is 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across. The circular grain in the lower left corner is approximately 3 millimeters (.12 inches) across, or about the size of a sunflower seed.

This stretched color composite was obtained by merging images acquired with the orange-tinted dust cover in both its open and closed positions. The varying hints of orange suggest differences in mineral composition. The blue tint at the lower right corner is a tag used by scientists to indicate that the dust cover is closed.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/US Geological Survey
Browse Image (137 kB) | Large (2 MB)
Thar be Hematite!
Thar be Hematite!

This map of a portion of the small crater currently encircling the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows where crystalline hematite resides. Red and orange patches indicate high levels of the iron-bearing mineral, while blue and green denote low levels. The northeastern rock outcropping lining the rim of the crater does not appear to contain much hematite. Also lacking hematite are the rover's airbag bounce marks. This image consists of data from Opportunity's miniature thermal emission spectrometer superimposed on an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University/Cornell
Browse Image | Medium Image (122 kB) | Large (733 kB)
Meridiani's Autograph
Meridiani's Autograph

This spectrum of the soil at the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site, Meridiani Planum, shows the presence of the shiny green mineral called olivine also seen at the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's landing site, Gusev Crater. Based on this data, scientists believe the soil at Meridiani is made-up of in part of finely grained basalt, a type of volcanic rock. The spectrum was captured by Opportunity's Mössbauer spectrometer.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Mainz
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Browse Image (26 kB) | Large (112 kB)

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