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Press Release Images: Opportunity
29-Jun-2010
NASA Mars Rover Seeing Destination in More Detail
Full Press Release
 
Super-Resolution View of Endeavour Rim, Sol 2239'
Super-Resolution View of Endeavour Rim, Sol 2239 (Labeled)

Since the summer of 2008, when NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity finished two years of studying Victoria Crater, the rover's long-term destination has been the much larger Endeavour Crater to the southeast. By the spring of 2010, Opportunity had covered more than a third of the charted, 19-kilometer (12-mile) route from Victoria to Endeavour and reached an area with a gradual, southward slope offering a view of Endeavour's elevated rim.

On the 2,239th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's mission on Mars (May 12, 2010), the rover used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to take multiple exposures of the horizon toward the southeast. The Pancam team combined these images into this super-resolution view showing details of a portion of the rim of Endeavour about 13 kilometers (8 miles) away, plus more-distant features. Super-resolution is an imaging technique that combines information from multiple pictures of the same target to generate an image with a higher resolution than any of the individual images.

Above the dark plains in the lower portion of the view, the horizon in the left half is mostly a portion of Endeavour's western rim. Labels identify some points on the rim that have been assigned informal names by the rover science team, using as a theme names of places visited by British Royal Navy Capt. James Cook in his 1769-1771 Pacific voyage in command of H.M.S. Endeavour. The paler-looking terrain on the horizon beyond Endeavour in the right half of the image is part of a thick deposit of material ejected by the impact that excavated Iazu Crater, south of Endeavour. The observed increase in brightness of Iazu's ejecta relative to Endeavour's features is consistent with modeling by science team members Michael Wolff, of the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo., and Ray Arvidson, of Washington University in St. Louis, applying optical characteristics Opportunity has measured in the Martian atmosphere.

Supplementing this image, a reference map as seen from orbit (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13196) by the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows the relative positions of Victoria, Endeavour and Iazu craters, and the Opportunity rover. Science team member Tim Parker, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has correlated several points visible in the Pancam image with features visible from orbit.

After the rover team chose Endeavour as a long-term destination, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, also on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed at Endeavour. James Wray, of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and co-authors reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
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Full Resolution (16.4 MB)
 
Super-Resolution View of Endeavour Rim, Sol 2239
Super-Resolution View of Endeavour Rim, Sol 2239

Since the summer of 2008, when NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity finished two years of studying Victoria Crater, the rover's long-term destination has been the much larger Endeavour Crater to the southeast. By the spring of 2010, Opportunity had covered more than a third of the charted, 19-kilometer (12-mile) route from Victoria to Endeavour and reached an area with a gradual, southward slope offering a view of Endeavour's elevated rim.

On the 2,239th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's mission on Mars (May 12, 2010), the rover used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to take multiple exposures of the horizon toward the southeast. The Pancam team combined these images into this super-resolution view showing details of a portion of the rim of Endeavour about 13 kilometers (8 miles) away plus more-distant features. Super-resolution is an imaging technique combining information from multiple pictures of the same target in order to generate an image with a higher resolution than any of the individual images.

Above the dark plains in the lower portion of the view, the horizon in the left half is mostly a portion of Endeavour's western rim. The paler-looking terrain on the horizon beyond Endeavour in the right half of the image is part of a thick deposit of material ejected by the impact that excavated Iazu Crater, south of Endeavour. The observed increase in brightness of Iazu's ejecta relative to Endeavour's features is consistent with modeling by science team members Michael Wolff, of the Space Science Institute, and Ray Arvidson, of Washington University in St. Louis, applying optical characteristics Opportunity has measured in the Martian atmosphere.

After the rover team chose Endeavour as a long-term destination, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, also on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed at Endeavour. James Wray, of Cornell University, and co-authors reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
Browse Image | Medium Image (309 kB) | Large (1.6 MB)
Full Resolution (16 MB)
Opportunity Amid Mars Craters (Labeled)
Opportunity Amid Mars Craters (Labeled)

This map of the region around NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the relative locations of several craters and the rover in May 2010, when Opportunity took images for a super-resolution view of the horizon to the rover's southeast (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13197).

The base map here is a mosaic of images from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The scale bar is 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).

Opportunity explored Endurance Crater, near the upper-left corner of this map, during the first year after the rover's January 2004 arrival on Mars for a mission originally scheduled to last for three months. Since the summer of 2008, when Opportunity finished two years of studying Victoria Crater, the rover's long-term destination has been the much larger Endeavour Crater. The route chosen for the journey veers south of the shortest path between the two craters in order to avoid hazardously large ripples of sand. By the spring of 2010, Opportunity had covered more than a third of the charted, 19-kilometer (12-mile) route from Victoria to Endeavour and reached an area with a gradual, southward slope offering a view of a portion of Endeavour's elevated rim.

On this map, the southeastward lines originating from the point labeled "Sol 2239" show the angle covered in the super-resolution view generated from a set of images that Opportunity's panoramic camera (Pancam) took during the 2,239th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's mission on Mars (May 12, 2010). The points labeled "Cape Tribulation," "Cape Byron," "Cape Dromedary" and "Point Hicks" on this map are also visible in that Sol 2239 Pancam view, as correlated by rover science team member Tim Parker, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The science team has assigned those and other informal names for features at Endeavour Crater using as a theme names of places visited by British Royal Navy Capt. James Cook in his 1769-1771 Pacific voyage in command of H.M.S. Endeavour. The Pancam view also shows some of the thick deposit of material ejected by the impact that excavated Iazu Crater, south of Endeavour. The observed increase in brightness of Iazu's ejecta relative to Endeavour's features is consistent with modeling by science team members Mike Wolff, of the Space Science Institute, and Ray Arvidson,of Washington University in St. Louis, applying optical characteristics Opportunity has measured in the Martian atmosphere.

After the rover team chose Endeavour as a long-term destination, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, also on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed at Endeavour. James Wray, of Cornell University, and co-authors reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/WUSTL
Browse Image | Medium Image (309 kB) | Large (10.9 kB)
Full Resolution (47.5 MB)
Opportunity Amid Mars Craters
Opportunity Amid Mars Craters

This map of the region around NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the relative locations of several craters, including Endeavour. A super-resolution view generated from images taken by Opportunity on May 12, 2010, (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13197) shows some detail in a portion of Endeavour's rim.

The map covers an area about 55 kilometers (34 miles) across in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. It is a mosaic of images from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is toward the top. Opportunity's explorations have all been within the upper left quadrant of the region covered in this map.

Opportunity explored Endurance Crater (barely visible about 7 kilometers or 4 miles from the left edge of this area and 2 kilometers or 1 mile from the top) during the first year after the rover's January 2004 arrival on Mars for a mission originally scheduled to last for three months. Since the summer of 2008, when Opportunity finished two years of studying Victoria Crater (about 8 kilometers or 5 miles from the left edge and 9 kilometers or 6 miles from the top), the rover's long-term destination has been the much larger Endeavour Crater (the large crater at the center). By the spring of 2010, Opportunity had covered more than a third of the charted, 19-kilometer (12-mile) route from Victoria to Endeavour and reached an area with a gradual, southward slope offering a view of a portion of Endeavour's elevated rim.

After the rover team chose Endeavour as a long-term destination, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, also on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed at Endeavour. James Wray, of Cornell University, and co-authors reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.

The crater at the bottom center of the map is Iazu. Material that was ejected during the impact that excavated Iazu is visible on the horizon in Opportunity's May 12, 2010, view of the Endeavor rim.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
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Full Resolution (47.5 MB)

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