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Screenshot from 'Opportunity on Mars: Eight years and counting' Opportunity on Mars: Eight years and counting - January 24, 2012

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 8th anniversary on Mars.
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Screenshot from 'Rover's Eye View of Three-Year Trek on Mars' Rover's Eye View of Three-Year Trek on Mars - October 10, 2011

During the three-year trek of NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater, rover planners captured a horizon photograph at the end of each drive. 309 images taken during the 13-mile journey appear in this video.
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Screenshot from 'NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates seven years on Mars, and counting.' NASA's Opportunity celebrates its 7th birthday at Santa Maria Crater. - January 24, 2011

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates seven years on Mars, and counting.

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Screenshot from 'Sunset Watched by Opportunity, November 2010' Sunset Watched by Opportunity, November 2010 - December 22, 2010

The sun descends to the Martian horizon and sets in this 30-second movie simulation using images from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The movie includes images that have been calibrated and enhanced, plus simulated frames used to smooth the action.

The rover team uses the Pancam to view sunsets a few times a year, when rover power is adequate, as a way to monitor distribution and variability of dust in the lower atmosphere.

This movie builds on 17 individual photos of the sky around the sun taken through the Pancam's 440 nanometer-wavelength (blue), and 864 nanometer-wavelength (near infrared) filters, every 7.5 seconds during about 17 minutes of sunset on Opportunity's 2411th Martian day, or sol (Nov. 5, 2010). The sun's glare saturated parts of those images and so the moviemakers removed the glare and inserted a non-saturated image of the sun from the previous day's imaging using Pancam's special solar filter. They then supplemented this non-glare snapshot with interpolated frames to simulate the smoother motion of the setting sun.

The end result simulates watching the sun set on Mars using a good pair of dark sunglasses, with the whole event sped up to about 35 times the actual speed.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Texas A&M

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Screenshot from 'Phobos Passes in Front of Sun's Face, Nov. 9, 2010' Phobos Passes in Front of Sun's Face, Nov. 9, 2010 - December 22, 2010

The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, transits (passes in front of) the sun in this approximately true-speed movie simulation using images from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity taken on the rover's 2,415th Martian day, or sol (Nov. 9, 2010). The movie includes images that have been calibrated and enhanced, plus simulated frames used to smooth the action.

Images of solar transits of Phobos and the other Mars moon, Deimos, taken over many years by Mars rovers aid in studies of slight changes in the moons' orbits.

This movie is based on 10 individual photos taken through the Pancam's special solar filter every four seconds during the transit, which lasted about 32 seconds. The images were gradually blended together to create a simulated near-real-speed animation of the event. The moviemakers supplemented those images with sky color information from a pair of images taken right after the transit through two regular imaging filters: one centered on a wavelength of 440 nanometers (blue) and the other on 750 nanometers (near infrared).

The silhouette of Phobos looks smaller than in some other Mars rover transit images (for example, because when Phobos is near the horizon it is more than 30 percent farther from the camera's location than when it is straight overhead.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Texas A&M

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Screenshot from 'Opportunity: Making Tracks on Mars' Opportunity: Making Tracks on Mars - Jan 22, 2010
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took a break from crater-hopping to check out a rock that originated deep in the planet's crust.

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Screenshot from 'Weather Movie, Mars South Polar Region, March-April 2009' Weather Movie, Mars South Polar Region, March-April 2009 (Close) - April 15, 2009

This movie shows the southern high-latitudes region of Mars from March 19 through April 14, 2009, a period when regional dust storms occurred along the retreating edge of carbon-dioxide frost in the seasonal south polar cap. Compared with a full-hemisphere view, this view shows more details of where the dust clouds formed and how they moved around the planet.

The movie combines hundreds of images from the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

In viewing the movie, it helps to understand some of the artifacts produced by the nature of MARCI images when seen in animation. MARCI acquires images in swaths from pole-to-pole during the dayside portion of each orbit. The camera can cover the entire planet in just over 12 orbits, and takes about 1 day to accumulate this coverage. The indiviual swaths are assembled into a mosaic, and that mosaic is shown here wrapped onto a sphere. The blurry portions of the mosaic, seen to be "pinwheeling" around the planet in the movie, are the portions of adjacent images viewing obliquely through the hazy atmosphsere. Portions with sharper-looking details are the central part of an image, viewing more directly downward through less atmosphere than the obliquely viewed portions. MARCI has a 180-degree field of view, and Mars fills about 78 percent of that field of view when the camera is pointed down at the planet. However, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter often is pointed to one side or the other off its orbital track in order to acquire targeted observations by the higher-resolution imaging systems on the spacecraft. When such rolls exceed about 20 degrees, gaps occur in the mosaic of MARCI swaths. Also, dark gaps appear when data are missing, either because of irrecoverable data drops, or because not all the data have yet been transmitted from the spacecraft.

It isn't easy to see the actual dust motion in the atmosphere in these images, owing to the apparent motion of these artifacts. However, by concentrating on specific surface features (craters, prominent ice deposits, etc.) and looking for the brownish clouds of dust, it is possible to see where the storms start and how they move around the planet.

In additon to tracking the storms, it is also interesting to watch how the seasonal cap shrinks from the beginning to the end of the animation. This shrinkage results from subliming of the carbon-dioxide frost from the surface as the frost absorbs southern hemisphere mid-spring sunlight. The temperature contrast between the warm sunlit ground just north of the cap's edge and the cold carbon-dioxide frost generates strong winds, enhanced by the excess carbon dioxide subliming off the cap. These winds create the conditions that lead to the dust storms.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Screenshot from 'Weather Movie, Mars Southern Hemisphere, March-April 2009 (Far)' Weather Movie, Mars Southern Hemisphere, March-April 2009 (Far) - April 15, 2009

This movie shows the full southern hemisphere of Mars from March 19 through April 14, 2009, a period when regional dust storms occurred along the retreating edge of carbon-dioxide frost in the seasonal south polar cap.

The movie combines hundreds of images from the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

See caption above for more details about viewing the movie.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Screenshot from '5 Years and Still Roving on Mars - Opportunity' 5 Years and Still Roving on Mars - Opportunity - Jan 15, 2009
Opportunity landed near a geological treasure trove on Mars - and that was just the beginning of the rover's discoveries.

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Screenshot from 'Five Years on Mars' Five Years on Mars - Dec 22, 2008
In January, JPL will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Spirit and Opportunity landing on Mars, and the twin rovers will continue with their newest adventures.

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Screenshot from 'Mars Rovers Battle Severe Dust Storm' Mars Rovers Battle Severe Dust Storm - July 20, 2007
Whopper dust storms on Mars are whipping up potential problems for the twin Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit. Opportunity in particular is getting less power from the sun because it's blocked by a dusty haze. To conserve Opportunity's power supply, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have told the rover to conduct only essential operations. Once the storm subsides, the plan is to have Opportunity descend into Victoria Crater, which could be a site of intriguing science discoveries.

Huge dust storms whip around Mars every 5 to 6 years. Scientists hope the rovers will weather this latest storm, and in fact, that they will learn a lot about Martian dust storms from observations made by the rovers, by NASA's orbiting Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and by the European Mars Express spacecraft.

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Screenshot from 'Opportunity Poised to Enter Victoria Crater' Opportunity Poised to Enter Victoria Crater - June 28, 2007
It's been almost a two-year journey for Opportunity to travel to and along the half-mile-wide Victoria Crater. Now after months of looking for just the right spot, it peers over the edge of "Duck Bay," ready to descend soon into perhaps its greatest adventure yet.

In this video, mission project manager John Callas shares the challenges around the decision to send the rover inside and the risks and discoveries that may lie down below.

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Screenshot from 'Flying Over Opportunity's Work Site ' Flying Over Opportunity's Work Site - March 13, 2007
Images of "Victoria Crater" in Mars' Meridiani Planum region, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, provided detailed, three-dimensional information that was used to create this animation of a hypothetical flyover. NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reached the edge of this crater in September 2006 and began exploring its rim clockwise.

Victoria is about 800 meters (one-half mile) in diameter. This animated flyover approaches the crater from the south, and then moves counterclockwise around part of the rim. An enhanced glimpse of Opportunity appears at a location where the rover was seen by the orbiter.

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/U.S. Geological Survey

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Screenshot from 'Three Years on Mars - Opportunity's Story' flash Three Years on Mars - Opportunity's Story - January 22, 2007
NASA's Opportunity rover, now exploring Mars for three years, is half a world away from its twin, Spirit.

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Screenshot from 'An Opportunity to Study Mars' video An Opportunity to Study Mars - October 06, 2006
This video compilation shows images from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's 32 months on Mars.

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Screenshot from 'Animated Elevation Model of 'Victoria Crater' Animated Elevation Model of 'Victoria Crater'
- September 11, 2006
After driving more than 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from the site where it landed in January 2004, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity approached "Victoria Crater" in September 2006. The crater is about 750 meters (half a mile) across. That is about six times wider than "Endurance Crater," which Opportunity spent six months examining in 2004, and about 35 times wider than "Eagle Crater," where Opportunity first landed. The walls of Victoria hold the scientific allure of much taller stacks of geological layers -- providing the record of a longer span of the area's environmental history -- than Opportunity has been able to inspect on the Meridiani plains or at smaller craters.

This animation created by the U.S. Geological Survey uses a digital elevation model generated from computer analysis of three images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. The vertical dimension is not exaggerated relative to the horizonal dimensions. The crater is about 70 meters (230 feet) deep.

The images used for providing the stereo information to calculate relative elevation were taken on Feb. 1, 2004,
Feb. 15, 2004 and April 16, 2005. The animation begins and ends with the view looking from the northwest toward the southeast. Opportunity is approaching Victoria from the northwest.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/USGS
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Image  from 'Rover Road Trip Slideshow' Rover Road Trip Slideshow
The Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity have seen quite a bit during their second Martian year.

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Screenshot from 'Two Years on Mars' flash Two Years on Mars - January 24, 2006
The Mars Exploration Rovers mark two years on the red planet.

printscreen from 'Erebus Rim' animation Erebus Rim - January 23, 2006
This is the Opportunity panoramic camera's "Erebus Rim" panorama, acquired on sols 652 to 663 (Nov. 23 to Dec. 5, 2005 ), as NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was exploring sand dunes and outcrop rocks in Meridiani Planum. The panorama originally consisted of 635 separate images in 4 different Pancam filters, and covers 360 degrees of terrain around the rover and the full rover deck. Since the time that this panorama was acquired, and while engineers have been diagnosing and testing Opportunity's robotic arm, the panorama has been expanded to include more than 1,300 images of this terrain through all of the Pancam multispectral filters. It is the largest panorama acquired by either rover during the mission.

The panorama shown here is an approximate true-color rendering using Pancam's 750 nanometer, 530 nanometer and 430 nanometer filters. It is presented here as a cylindrical projection. Image-to-image seams have been eliminated from the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see.

This panorama provides the team's highest resolution view yet of the finely-layered outcrop rocks, wind ripples, and small cobbles and grains along the rim of the wide but shallow "Erebus" crater. Once the arm diagnostics and testing are completed, the team hopes to explore other layered outcrop rocks at Erebus and then eventually continue southward toward the large crater known as "Victoria."

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Screenshot from 'New Video Shows Opportunity Leaving Martian Sand Trap' video Opportunity Leaving Martian Sand Trap - June 07, 2005
This video shows the Mars rover Opportunity maneuvering out of a martian sand dune between May 11 and June 3. Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory worked for nearly five weeks to get Opportunity free. The long-distance roadside assistance was a painstaking operation to free the six wheels of the rover which were stuck up to their rims in the soft sand of the small sand dune. The rover exited the sand dune in the same direction it drove into it on April 26th.

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print screen from 'Opportunity on Mars' video Opportunity on Mars - February 18, 2005
Look through Opportunity's "eyes" during its first 323 sols (days) on Mars. This video highlights images from Opportunity's front hazard-avoidance camera during nearly a year's worth of red planet roving.

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Spirit and Opportunity: One Year on Mars Spirit and Opportunity: One Year on Mars - January 03, 2005

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One Year on Mars: Flash
Entering Endurance Crater Entering Endurance Crater - June 21, 2004

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A picture from Opportunity as she sits on the lander 90 Sols in 90 Seconds - May 14, 2004
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Video of Rock Outcrop - Feb 09, 2004 Video Presentation of Rock Outcrop - Feb 09, 2004
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Computer Simulation of Autonomous Navigation - Feb 09, 2004 Computer Simulation of Autonomous Navigation - Feb 09, 2004
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