A Panoramic View of the Red Planet's Victoria Crater

Jan 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: Russian, American ready for a year in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mars rover Opportunity climbs to high point on rim

Jan 09, 2015

After completing two drives this week, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has paused to photograph the panoramic vista from the highest point the rover has reached during its 40 months of exploring ...

Recommended for you

Russian, American ready for a year in space

7 hours ago

The Russian astronaut heading off for a year in space says he'll miss the natural landscapes on Earth. His American counterpart jokes he won't miss his twin brother.

Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

20 hours ago

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took these images from the International Space Station during her six-month mission. The Progress cargo ship and Soyuz crew spacecraft reflect sunlight as our star sets ...

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

22 hours ago

Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine—but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

Japan launches replacement spy satellite

23 hours ago

Japan on Thursday successfully launched a replacement spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, as an existing device comes to the end of its working life.

User comments : 0

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.