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: The moon

Related Stories

The moon

September 21, 2015

Look up in the night sky. On a clear night, if you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the moon shining in all it's glory. As Earth's only satellite, the moon has orbited our planet for over three and a half billion years. ...

Ceres' bright spots seen in striking new detail

September 9, 2015

The brightest spots on the dwarf planet Ceres gleam with mystery in new views delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. These closest-yet views of Occator crater, with a resolution of 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel, give scientists ...

Stunning new Pluto aerial tour

September 23, 2015

I'm Stuart Robbins, a research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made hundreds of individual observations during its flyby of the Pluto system in mid-July. ...

New Pluto images from NASA's New Horizons

September 11, 2015

New close-up images of Pluto from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity.

Pluto's close-ups to offer high-resolution views

July 15, 2015

Pluto's surface has long been a blur to sky watchers on Earth, but a NASA spacecraft on Wednesday should provide the first high-resolution images of the distant dwarf planet after a historic flyby mission.

The planet Mercury

August 6, 2015

Mercury is the closest planet to our sun, the smallest of the eight planets, and one of the most extreme worlds in our solar systems. Named after the Roman messenger of the gods, the planet is one of a handful that can be ...

Recommended for you

Blue skies, frozen water detected on Pluto

October 8, 2015

Pluto has blue skies and patches of frozen water, according to the latest data out Thursday from NASA's unmanned New Horizons probe, which made a historic flyby of the dwarf planet in July.

Orbiter views Mars surface fractures

October 8, 2015

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter often takes images of Martian sand dunes to study the mobile soils. These images provide information about erosion and ...

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...


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.