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Press Release Images: Opportunity
20-Jan-2011
Mars Sliding Behind Sun After Rover Anniversary
Press Release
 
Panorama of 'Santa Maria' Crater for Opportunity's Anniversary (False Color)
Panorama of 'Santa Maria' Crater for Opportunity's Anniversary (False Color)

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending the seventh anniversary of its landing on Mars investigating a crater called "Santa Maria," which has a diameter about the length of a football field.

This scene looks eastward across the crater. Portions of the rim of a much larger crater, Endurance, appear on the horizon. The panorama spans 225 compass degrees, from north-northwest on the left to south-southwest on the right. It has been assembled from multiple frames taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on Opportunity during the 2,453rd and 2,454th Martian days, or sols, of the rover's work on Mars (Dec. 18 and 19, 2010).

The view is presented in false color to emphasize differences among materials in the rocks and the soils. It combines images taken through three different Pancam filters admitting light with wavelengths centered at 753 nanometers (near infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). Seams have been eliminated from the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see.

Opportunity landed in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars on Jan. 24, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 25, Pacific Time) for a mission originally planned to last for three months. Since that prime mission, the rover has continued to work in bonus-time extended missions. Both Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life.

By mid-January 2011, Opportunity reached a location at the southeastern edge of Santa Maria crater. The rover team developed plans for Opportunity to spend a few weeks investigating rocks at that site during solar conjunction, a period when communications between Earth and Mars are curtailed because the sun is almost directly between the two planets.

After completion of its work at Santa Maria, the rover will resume a long-term trek toward Endeavour.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU
Browse Image | Medium Image (65 kB) | Large (4.34 MB)
Full-Res (NASA's Planetary Photojournal)
 
Stereo Panorama of 'Santa Maria' Crater for Opportunity's Anniversary
Stereo Panorama of 'Santa Maria' Crater for Opportunity's Anniversary

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending the seventh anniversary of its landing on Mars investigating a crater called "Santa Maria," which has a diameter about the length of a football field.

This stereo panorama combines views from the left eye and right eye of Opportunity's panoramic camera, to appear three-dimensional when seen through blue-red glasses. It looks eastward across Santa Maria crater. Portions of the rim of a much larger crater, Endurance, appear on the horizon.

The panorama spans 225 compass degrees, from north-northwest on the left to south-southwest on the right. It has been assembled from multiple frames taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on Opportunity during the 2,453rd and 2,454th Martian days, or sols, of the rover's work on Mars (Dec. 18 and 19, 2010).

Opportunity landed in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars on Jan. 24, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 25, Pacific Time) for a mission originally planned to last for three months. Since that prime mission, the rover has continued to work in bonus-time extended missions. Both Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life.

By mid-January 2011, Opportunity reached a location at the southeastern edge of Santa Maria crater. The rover team developed plans for Opportunity to spend a few weeks investigating rocks at that site during solar conjunction, a period when communications between Earth and Mars are curtailed because the sun is almost directly between the two planets.

After completion of its work at Santa Maria, the rover will resume a long-term trek toward Endeavour.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU
Browse Image | Medium Image (77 kB) | Large (2.74 MB)
Full-Res (NASA's Planetary Photojournal)
 
Color Panorama of 'Santa Maria' Crater for Opportunity's Anniversary
Color Panorama of 'Santa Maria' Crater for Opportunity's Anniversary

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending the seventh anniversary of its landing on Mars investigating a crater called "Santa Maria," which has a diameter about the length of a football field.

This scene looks eastward across the crater. Portions of the rim of a much larger crater, Endurance, appear on the horizon. The panorama spans 225 compass degrees, from north-northwest on the left to south-southwest on the right. It has been assembled from multiple frames taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on Opportunity during the 2,453rd and 2,454th Martian days, or sols, of the rover's work on Mars (Dec. 18 and 19, 2010).

Opportunity landed in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars on Jan. 24, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 25, Pacific Time) for a mission originally planned to last for three months. Since that prime mission, the rover has continued to work in bonus-time extended missions. Both Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life.

By mid-January 2011, Opportunity reached a location at the southeastern edge of Santa Maria crater. The rover team developed plans for Opportunity to spend a few weeks investigating rocks at that site during solar conjunction, a period when communications between Earth and Mars are curtailed because the sun is almost directly between the two planets.

After completion of its work at Santa Maria, the rover will resume a long-term trek toward Endeavour.

This view combines images taken through three different Pancam filters admitting light with wavelengths centered at 753 nanometers (near infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). This "natural color" is the rover team's best estimate of what the scene would look like if we were there and able to see it with our own eyes. Seams have been eliminated from the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU
Browse Image | Medium Image (51 kB) | Large (3.53 MB)
Full-Res (NASA's Planetary Photojournal)

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