NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
Follow this link to skip to the main content
JPL banner - links to JPL and CalTech
left nav graphic Overview Science Technology The Mission People Spotlights Events Multimedia All Mars
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ Rovers Home
Multimedia
Summary
Images
Press Release Images
Spirit
Opportunity
All Raw Images
Spirit
Opportunity
Panoramas
Spirit
Opportunity
3-D Images
Spirit
Opportunity
Special-Effects Images
Spirit
Opportunity
Spacecraft
Mars Artwork
Landing Sites
Videos
Podcasts
Press Release Images: Opportunity
06-Aug-2004
 
Dazzling Dunes (false-color)
"Endurance Crater's" Dazzling Dunes (false-color)

As NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity creeps farther into "Endurance Crater," the dune field on the crater floor appears even more dramatic. This false-color image taken by the rover's panoramic camera shows that the dune crests have accumulated more dust than the flanks of the dunes and the flat surfaces between them. Also evident is a "blue" tint on the flat surfaces as compared to the dune flanks. This results from the presence of the hematite-containing spherules ("blueberries") that accumulate on the flat surfaces.

Sinuous tendrils of sand less than 1 meter (3.3 feet) high extend from the main dune field toward the rover. Scientists hope to send the rover down to one of these tendrils in an effort to learn more about the characteristics of the dunes. Dunes are a common feature across the surface of Mars, and knowledge gleaned from investigating the Endurance dunes close-up may apply to similar dunes elsewhere.

Before the rover heads down to the dunes, rover drivers must first establish whether the slippery slope that leads to them is firm enough to ensure a successful drive back out of the crater. Otherwise, such hazards might make the dune field a true sand trap.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Browse Image (32.2 kB) | Large (689 kB)
Dazzling Dunes (approximate true-color)
"Endurance Crater's" Dazzling Dunes

As NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity creeps farther into "Endurance Crater," the dune field on the crater floor appears even more dramatic. This approximate true-color panoramic camera image highlights the reddish-colored dust present throughout the scene.

Sinuous tendrils of sand less than 1 meter (3.3 feet) high extend from the main dune field toward the rover. Scientists hope to send the rover down to one of these tendrils in an effort to learn more about the characteristics of the dunes. Dunes are a common feature across the surface of Mars, and knowledge gleaned from investigating the Endurance dunes close-up may apply to similar dunes elsewhere.

Before the rover heads down to the dunes, rover drivers must first establish whether the slippery slope that leads to them is firm enough to ensure a successful drive back out of the crater. Otherwise, such hazards might make the dune field a true sand trap.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Browse Image (16.6 kB) | Large (358 kB)

JPL Image Use Policy

USA.gov
PRIVACY    |     FAQ    |     SITEMAP    |     CREDITS