Image: NASA Mars orbiter views Opportunity rover on ridge

February 20, 2014
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

(Phys.org) —A new image from a telescopic camera orbiting Mars shows NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity at work on "Murray Ridge," without any new impact craters nearby.

The Feb. 14 view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is above. Rover tracks from Opportunity, as well as the rover itself, are visible.

A rock, dubbed "Pinnacle Island," appeared in January 2014 next to Opportunity where it had been absent a few days earlier. After that, researchers using HiRISE planned this observation to check the remote possibility that a fresh impact by an object from space might have excavated a crater near Opportunity and thrown this rock to its new location. No fresh impact site is seen in the image. Meanwhile, observations by the rover solved the Pinnacle Island mystery by finding where the rock had been struck, broken and moved by a rover wheel.

Murray Ridge is part of the western rim of Endeavour Crater, an impact scar that is billions of years old and about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

Explore further: Mars orbiter images rover and tracks in Gale Crater

Related Stories

Mars orbiter images rover and tracks in Gale Crater

January 9, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and its recent tracks from driving in Gale Crater appear in an image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ...

NASA solves mystery of Mars 'doughnut' rock

February 15, 2014

NASA scientists were finally able to explain the origin of the mysterious rock shaped like a jelly doughnut that appeared near the rover Opportunity in early January.

NASA Mars orbiter examines dramatic new crater

February 5, 2014

(Phys.org) —Space rocks hitting Mars excavate fresh craters at a pace of more than 200 per year, but few new Mars scars pack as much visual punch as one seen in a NASA image released today.

Mars rover heads uphill after solving 'doughnut' riddle

February 15, 2014

(Phys.org) —Researchers have determined the now-infamous Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity ...

Rock appears mysteriously in front of Mars Opportunity rover

January 20, 2014

(Phys.org) —The lead scientist for NASA's Mars rover exploration team (Steve Squyres) has announced that recent images beamed back by the Opportunity rover show a rock sitting in a place nearby where there wasn't one just ...

Recommended for you

Tidal tails detected around a distant globular cluster

May 22, 2017

(Phys.org)—Astronomers have found tidal tails around a distant globular cluster known as NGC 7492. The newly discovered features could provide important information about the nature of globular clusters. The findings were ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2014
LOL So it's not settled science that Pinnacle Island is a tiddly-wink if NASA is re-tasking MRO.

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.