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Emily LakdawallaOctober 16, 2009

Opportunity's world of dunes and rock

Opportunity's been making tracks lately, with brief stops to check out a couple of meteorites. I thought this view of its surroundings on sol 2,034 (a couple of days ago) was neat. It's a polar projection -- Opportunity's 360-degree view is projected onto the inside of a hemisphere, and it's like we're looking straight down onto that hemisphere.

A world of dunes and rock

Data: NASA / JPL-Caltech; Mosaic: Damien Bouic; Polar projection: Phil Stooke

A world of dunes and rock
On Sol 2,034, Opportunity had driven to a relatively bedrock-rich spot among the Meridiani dunes. A meteorite named Mackinac, the third it had investigated in recent weeks, sits at about the 7:00 position, close to the rover. The image is a polar projection of a 360-degree Navcam panorama captured by Opportunity after a 60-plus-meter drive to the northwest. The direction of the drive was almost directly away from Opportunity's eventual goal of Endeavour crater, but it placed Opportunity on a large area of bedrock that continues for some distance to the south, Opportunity's likely next driving direction.

Read more: pretty pictures, Opportunity, amateur image processing, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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