Color view from orbit shows mars rover beside crater

Mar 10, 2011
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this color image on March 9, 2011, of "Santa Maria" crater, showing NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity perched on the southeast rim. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has nearly completed its three-month examination of a crater informally named "Santa Maria," but before the rover resumes its overland trek, an orbiting camera has provided a color image of Opportunity beside Santa Maria.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's acquired the image on March 1, while Opportunity was extending its robotic arm to take close-up photos of a rock called "Ruiz Garcia." From orbit, the tracks Opportunity made as it approached the from the west are clearly visible. Santa Maria crater is about 90 meters (295 feet) in diameter.

March 1 corresponded to the 2,524th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on . A raw image from Opportunity's front hazard-avoidance camera from the same day, showing the arm extended to Ruiz Garcia, is below.

To complete the scale of imaging, a raw image taken by Opportunity's microscopic imager that day, shows textural detail of the rock:

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission on Mars in April 2004 and has been working in bonus extended missions since then. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which arrived at Mars on March 10, 2006, has also completed its prime mission and is operating in an extended mission.

Explore further: ITAR-TASS claims Russian cosmonauts have found sea plankton on outside of International Space Station

Related Stories

Opportunity studying a football-field size crater

Dec 23, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- On Dec. 16, 2010, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reached a crater about the size of a football field-some 90 meters (295 feet) in diameter. The rover team plans to use cameras and ...

Opportunity rover halfway point reached

Sep 09, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- When NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Victoria Crater two years ago this month, the rover science team chose Endeavour Crater as the rover's next long-term destination. With ...

On the Rim of 'Victoria Crater'

Sep 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, ...

Recommended for you

Electric sparks may alter evolution of lunar soil

47 minutes ago

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire and NASA scientists suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly ...

Why NASA studies the ultraviolet sun

2 hours ago

(Phys.org) —You cannot look at the sun without special filters, and the naked eye cannot perceive certain wavelengths of sunlight. Solar physicists must consequently rely on spacecraft that can observe ...

Two dynamos drive Jupiter's magnetic field

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Superlatives are the trademark of the planet Jupiter. The magnetic field at the top edge of the cloud surrounding the largest member of the solar system is around ten times stronger than Earth's, ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Modernmystic
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2011
Now if we could only get the moon cranks to shut up. But I suppose any pictures of the stuff we left behind there would be classified as "doctored photography" when filtered through crankologic.
panorama
5 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2011
We could just get Buzz Aldrin to punch all the cranks. It could be a new reality show.
PieRSquare
5 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2011
We could just get Buzz Aldrin to punch all the cranks. It could be a new reality show.

That would be the best show ever!
"You wanna see stars? I'll show you stars! Zip, pow, to the moon!!!"
PS3
3 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2011
I like how we can see the rover tracks better than the moon tracks..must really be fake.