Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

   Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Pretty picture: A sunset postcard and a special shadow from Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

21-02-2012 16:31 CST

Topics: Opportunity, amateur image processing, best of, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

The individual frames for this image were taken and downlinked a few weeks ago, but it took Don Davis many hours of meticulous labor to assemble it into this beautiful postcard from Mars. Take a moment to be the rover, standing there, covered with fine red dust, on a cold day in Martian winter, the yellow Sun taking its light with it as it sinks behind you.

A sunset postcard and a special shadow from Opportunity

NASA / JPL / Cornell / color mosaic © Don Davis

A sunset postcard and a special shadow from Opportunity
Near sunset on sol 2847 (January 27, 2012), Opportunity gazed backward to the east-southeast and the distant line of peaks that mark the far rim of Endeavour crater. The setting Sun throws very long shadows from the very low-standing ridge that Opportunity, is in turn, standing on. In fact, Opportunity's own shadow is visible, a blurry speck standing on the ridge's shadow.

Please note that this image is copyrighted. Do not reproduce it without contacting the artist.

An area of Endeavour's floor immediately around Opportunity's shadow appears slightly brighter than the floor elsewhere, possibly because of the opposition effect, where specks of dust on the floor of the crater, seen with the Sun directly behind Opportunity's cameras, hide their own shadows from view. (This effect was first pointed out by fredk on unmannedspaceflight.com.)

Don Davis had the following to say about assembling the postcard: "The preliminary jpeg images were difficult to match due to lighting and shadow changes between exposures. I leveled and cropped and freely distorted the original mosaic, and editorially approximated the actual colors of the dusty sundial rather than using the odd colors the actual filter set uses, which is optimized for getting the subtle color differences across the scene.

 
See other posts from February 2012

 

Or read more blog entries about: Opportunity, amateur image processing, best of, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

LightSail - Flight by Light

Support LightSail!

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.

I want to help!

Featured Images

Surveyor 7 panorama

Earth, as seen by Surveyor 7
Cratered caprock within Elorza crater, Mars
Point Lake, Curiosity sol 302
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!