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The Road to Victoria Crater on Mars June 5, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in APoD, Cornell, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Planets, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Spacecraft, Website.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Credit:

Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell, JPL, NASA

Description:

Here is a road never traveled. To get to Victoria Crater on Mars, the rolling robotic rover Opportunity must traverse the landscape shown above. Victoria Crater lies about one kilometer ahead. The intervening terrain shows a series of light rock outcrops that appears like some sort of cobblestone road. Surrounding this naturally-occurring Martian road, is Martian sand ripples that must be navigated around. Inspection of the outcrop road shows it to be sprinkled with many small round rocks dubbed blueberries. Opportunity and its sister robot Spirit continue their third year exploring Mars. Within the next month, planetary scientists hope to maneuver Opportunity across Meridiani Planum to get a good view of 800-meter diameter Victoria Crater.

Cobbles in Troughs Between Meridiani Ripples (False Color) May 23, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Planets, Space Fotos.
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Cobbles in Troughs Between Meridiani Ripples (False Color)

Original Caption Released with Image:
As NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity continues to traverse from "Erebus Crater" toward "Victoria Crater," the rover navigates along exposures of bedrock between large, wind-blown ripples. Along the way, scientists have been studying fields of cobbles that sometimes appear on trough floors between ripples. They have also been studying the banding patterns seen in large ripples.This view, obtained by Opportunity's panoramic camera on the rover's 802nd Martian day (sol) of exploration (April 27, 2006), is a mosaic spanning about 30 degrees. It shows a field of cobbles nestled among wind-driven ripples that are about 20 centimeters (8 inches) high.The origin of cobble fields like this one is unknown. The cobbles may be a lag of coarser material left behind from one or more soil deposits whose finer particles have blown away. The cobbles may be eroded fragments of meteoritic material, secondary ejecta of Mars rock thrown here from craters elsewhere on the surface, weathering remnants of locally-derived bedrock, or a mixture of these. Scientists will use the panoramic camera's multiple filters to study the rock types, variability and origins of the cobbles.This is a false-color rendering that combines separate images taken through the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer and 432-nanometer filters. The false color is used to enhance differences between types of materials in the rocks and soil.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

Volcanic Bumpy Boulder on Mars May 15, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cornell, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Planets, Space Fotos.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What created this unusually textured rock on Mars? Most probably: a volcano. Dubbed Bumpy Boulder, the strange stone measuring just under a half-meter high was found by the robotic Spirit rover currently rolling across Mars. Pits on the raged rock are likely vesicles and arise from hot gas bubbling out of hot rock ejected by an active Martian volcano. Several similar rocks are visible near Bumpy Boulder that likely have a similar past. The above true-color image was taken about one month ago. The Spirit rover, now in its third year of operation on Mars, is weathering the low sunlight winter of Mar's northern hemisphere on a hillside slope in order to maximize the amount of absorbable battery-refreshing sunlight.

Winter Science Campaign Begins May 14, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Planets, Space Fotos, Vidcast.
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Spirit Beholds Bumpy Boulder (False Color) May 6, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos.
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Spirit Beholds Bumpy Boulder (False Color)

Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Spirit
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 1022 samples x 1024 lines
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA08439.tif (3.144 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA08439.jpg (201.7 kB)
Original Caption Released with Image:

As NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit began collecting images for a 360-degree panorama of new terrain, the rover captured this view of a dark boulder with an interesting surface texture. The boulder sits about 40 centimeters (16 inches) tall on Martian sand about 5 meters (16 feet) away from Spirit. It is one of many dark, volcanic rock fragments — many pocked with rounded holes called vesicles — littering the slope of “Low Ridge.” The rock surface facing the rover is similar in appearance to the surface texture on the outside of lava flows on Earth.

Spirit took this false-color image with the panoramic camera on the rover’s 810th sol, or Martian day, of exploring Mars (April 13, 2006). This image is a false-color rendering using camera’s 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/NMMNH

Spirit Scans Winter Haven April 25, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos.
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This approximately true-color image shows paper-thin layers of light-toned, jagged-edged rocks; a light gray rock with smooth, rounded edges atop and drifts; and several dark gray to black, angular rocks with vesicles typical of hardened lava
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Spirit
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 1021 samples x 1024 lines
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA08095.tif (3.141 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA08095.jpg (143.4 kB)

Original Caption Released with Image:

At least three different kinds of rocks await scientific analysis at the place where NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will likely spend several months of Martian winter. They are visible in this picture, which the panoramic camera on Spirit acquired during the rover’s 809th sol, or Martian day, of exploring Mars (April 12, 2006). Paper-thin layers of light-toned, jagged-edged rocks protrude horizontally from beneath small sand drifts; a light gray rock with smooth, rounded edges sits atop the sand drifts; and several dark gray to black, angular rocks with vesicles (small holes) typical of hardened lava lie scattered across the sand.

This view is an approximately true-color rendering that combines images taken through the panoramic camera’s 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

Studies Rock Outcrop at ‘Home Plate’ March 16, 2006

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cornell, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos, USGS.
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http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20060306a/Sol764A_P2589_L257F-A764R1_br.jpg

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Cornell

Explanation: 

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this false-color image at 11:48 local true solar time on Mars on the rover’s 746th Martian day, or sol (Feb. 26, 2006), after using the rock abraision tool to brush the surfaces of rock targets informally named “Stars” (left) and “Crawfords” (right). Small streaks of dust extend for several centimeters behind the small rock chips and pebbles in the dusty, red soils. Because the rover was looking southwest when this image was taken, the wind streaks indicate that the dominant wind direction was from the southeast.

The targets Stars and Crawfords are on a rock outcrop located on top of “Home Plate.” The outcrop is informally named “James ‘Cool Papa’ Bell,” after a Negro Leagues Hall of Famer who played for both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Kansas City Stars. To some science team members, the two brushed spots resemble the eyes of a face, with rocks below and between the eyes as a nose and layered rocks at the bottom of the image as a mouth.

The image combines frames taken by Spirit’s panoramic camera through the camera’s 753-nanometer, 535-namometer, and 432-nanometer filters. It is enhanced to emphasize color differences among the rocks, soils and brushed areas. The blue circular area on the left, Stars, was brushed on 761 (Feb. 22, 2006). The one on the right, Crawfords, was brushed on sol 763 (Feb. 25, 2006).

A Digital Opportunity Rover on Mars December 14, 2005

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in APoD, Cornell, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell, JPL, NASA
Rover Model: D. Maas – Synthetic Image: Z. Gorjian, K. Kuramura, M. Stetson, E. De Jong.

Explanation: If you could see one of the robot rovers currently rolling across Mars, what would it look like? To gain this perspective useful in planning explorations, the above synthetic image was produced digitally. Above, a digital model of the Opportunity rover was added to a real image of the inside of Endurance Crater on Mars taken earlier by Opportunity itself. The size of the six-wheeled robot was scaled to the size of the tracks that the Opportunity rover actually created. In actuality, both the Opportunity and Spirit rovers currently rolling across Mars each span about two meters and so are similar in size to a large rolling desk. Also visible in the image is dark soil, ancient light rock and numerous small gray pellets known as blueberries

Rim of ‘Erebus’ December 7, 2005

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Cornell, Erebus, JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos.
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Rim of 'Erebus'

Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Opportunity
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 952 samples x 587 lines
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA03622.tif (1.679 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA03622.jpg (94.88 kB)

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

Explanation:  The center upper portion of this image shows a portion of the rim of “Erebus Crater” in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. This approximately true-color view from the panoramic camera on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is a composite of frames acquired on the rover’s 657th Martian day, or sol, (Nov. 28, 2005). This is a small portion of a large panorama. Other portions of the panorama were still being shot three sols later. This view is a composite of separate images taken through the camera’s 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters.

Windblown Ripple ‘Scylla’ November 29, 2005

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in JPL, Mars, Mars Rovers, NASA, Space Fotos.
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Windblown Ripple 'Scylla'

Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Opportunity
Instrument: Navigation Camera
Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 1024 samples x 1024 lines
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA03576.tif (3.15 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA03576.jpg (163.9 kB)

Original Caption Released with Image:
These images were acquired by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity using its panoramic camera on sol 644 (Nov. 15, 2005; upper two images) and its navigation camera on sol 645 (Nov. 16, 2005; lower image). The view looks towards the east, covering a large wind-blown ripple called “Scylla” other nearby ripples and patches of brighter rock strewn with dark cobbles. Panoramic camera bands L4 (601-nanometer wavelength), L5 (535 nanometers), and L6 (482 nanometers) correspond to red, green, and blue bands in the false-color image shown in the upper left. The blue-tinted colors associated with the scours and ripple crests are probably due to the presence of basaltic sands mixed with hematite-rich spherules. Color patterns on the larger ripple flanks are caused by different amounts of reddish dust. The larger ripple flanks have an intricate mixture of erosional scours and secondary ripples extending downward from the main ripple crests, suggesting that these ripples have most recently encountered a period of wind erosion and transport of their outer layers. For comparison, the same panoramic camera image is shown here, but in this case rendered as an approximately true-color composite.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

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