A Panoramic View of the Red Planet's Victoria Crater

January 25, 2008
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

During four months prior to the fourth anniversary of its landing on Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity examined rocks inside an alcove called "Duck Bay" in the western portion of Victoria Crater.

The main body of the crater appears in the upper right of this panorama, with the far side of the crater lying about 800 meters (half a mile) away. Bracketing that part of the view are two promontories on the crater's rim at either side of Duck Bay.

They are "Cape Verde," about 6 meters (20 feet) tall, on the left, and "Cabo Frio," about 15 meters (50 feet) tall, on the right. The rest of the image, other than sky and portions of the rover, is ground within Duck Bay.

Opportunity's targets of study during the last quarter of 2007 were rock layers within a band exposed around the interior of the crater, about 6 meters (20 feet) from the rim. Bright rocks within the band are visible in the foreground of the panorama. The rover science team assigned informal names to three subdivisions of the band: "Steno," "Smith," and "Lyell."

This view combines many images taken by Opportunity's panoramic camera (Pancam) from the 1,332nd through 1,379th Martian days, or sols, of the mission (Oct. 23 to Dec. 11, 2007). Images taken through Pancam filters centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers were mixed to produce this view, which is presented in a false-color stretch to bring out subtle color differences in the scene. Some visible patterns in dark and light tones are the result of combining frames that were affected by dust on the front sapphire window of the rover's camera.

Opportunity landed on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time, (Jan. 24, Pacific Time) inside a much smaller crater about 6 kilometers (4 miles) north of Victoria Crater, to begin a surface mission designed to last 3 months and drive about 600 meters (0.4 mile).

High resolution JPEG (26Mb) is available here.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Image: Dione's contrasts

Related Stories

Image: Dione's contrasts

August 23, 2016

Dione reveals its past via contrasts in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The features visible here are a mixture of tectonics—the bright, linear features—and impact cratering—the round features, which are spread ...

On the Rim of 'Victoria Crater'

September 27, 2006

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity reached the rim of "Victoria Crater" in Mars' Meridiani Planum region with a 26-meter (85-foot) drive during the rover's 951st Martian day, or sol (Sept. 26, 2006). After the drive, the rover's ...

Image: Pluto's 'halo' craters

April 22, 2016

Within Pluto's informally named Vega Terra region is a field of eye-catching craters that looks like a cluster of bright halos scattered across a dark landscape.

Recommended for you

First stars formed even later than previously thought

August 31, 2016

ESA's Planck satellite has revealed that the first stars in the Universe started forming later than previous observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background indicated. This new analysis also shows that these stars were the ...

Dawn sets course for higher orbit

August 31, 2016

After studying Ceres for more than eight months from its low-altitude science orbit, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will move higher up for different views of the dwarf planet.

Galaxy cluster discovered at record-breaking distance

August 31, 2016

A new record for the most distant galaxy cluster has been set using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. This galaxy cluster may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of evolution ...

The rise and fall of galaxy formation

August 30, 2016

An international team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Eric Persson, has charted the rise and fall of galaxies over 90 percent of cosmic history. Their work, which includes some of the most sensitive astronomical measurements ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.